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Court Clerk Enters Chicago Mayor Race

September 01, 2006|Gary Washburn | Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, who entered local politics in 1999 as a novice, announced Thursday that she was running for mayor.

"I have heard the call from many of the citizens of the city of Chicago," Brown said. "Today I am answering that call."

Brown avoided focusing on Mayor Richard Daley, who is expected to run for his sixth term in the February election, but she did allude to the contracting and hiring scandals that have plagued his administration.

"Obviously, the citizens of Chicago have concerns about some of the things that have been occurring within the current administration," Brown said. She asserted that "as a proven and visionary leader with over 30 years of business and management experience," she is "a person people can trust, a person with high ethical values."

Daley political consultant David Axelrod responded that Daley had been candid about the problems in his administration and taken steps to fix them.

"I think that if the mayor runs, people will look at his record in totality," Axelrod said. "I think they will see a city on the move, a city that is making progress and a city that has good leadership."

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), who also is considering a run for mayor, praised Brown as "a solid public servant."

"The issues confronting the voters of Chicago are numerous and serious, including waste, fraud and abuse," Jackson said in a statement. "It is important to have multiple voices in the campaign speaking out against the culture of corruption in Chicago."

Some Chicago political veterans noted that every rival candidate to Daley will skim votes from him, something that could prevent Daley from receiving more than 50% of the ballots and force a runoff.

U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) has also said he is considering a run against Daley.

Brown, 52, was a political unknown before making a strong but unsuccessful bid for city treasurer in 1999. She won the court clerk's office in 2000 and reelection four years later.

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