Meeks tops ministers' mayoral straw poll
September 17, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Dozens of Chicago ministers met Friday to discuss the race for mayor. The group conducted a straw poll to determine their favorite candidates.
The poll was a small part of a discussion that is in its very early stages. Each minister was asked to list his or her favored candidates to come up with a list from which a consensus candidate might emerge.
It was one of the largest meetings of predominantly African-American ministers in nearly a year. Over 100 met at the Sweet Holy Spirit Church, 8600 S. Chicago Ave., on the South Side for a general discussion of who they might support for mayor of Chicago.
"We're looking for someone who will be able to appeal to a cross-section of Chicago citizens," said Albert Tyson, minister's spokesman.
ABC 7 has learned the ministers conducted a straw poll on prospective contenders.
State Senator Rev. James Meeks was listed as one of three candidates preferred on over 72 percent of the ballots.
West Side Congressman Danny Davis came in second as one of three choices with 60 percent.
While Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun tied for third with 32 percent each.
Some of the ministers said they worried that Congressman Jackson might be a witness in the second Rod Blagojevich trial, set to begin in January, as the campaign for mayor intensifies.
On WLS radio Friday morning, Jackson insisted the second trial would again prove he had done nothing illegal in the alleged deal to buy him a U.S. Senate seat.
"The prosecution, I assume, has concluded that what I have to say doesn't contribute to their case. And I assume they have no evidence or they should have brought a charge. If I'm a conspirator, bring it on," Jackson said on WLS radio.
Moseley Braun, who will announce a petition drive on Monday, would not comment on the mayor's race as she visited Robeson High School from where she graduated in the 1960s.
But, during an assembly, a student asked why Moseley Braun, who now runs an organic coffee and tea company, why she thought she would be a good mayor of Chicago.
"I have always tried to do the best I can do to serve the community and the people and values that I care about. And education is really important to me...perhaps there is another roll other than selling coffee and tea," said Moseley Braun.
The ministers will meet again at Rainbow PUSH headquarters Saturday as the process continues.
These kinds of meetings are happening all over the city. Different ethnic and neighborhood groups are beginning a process that will reduce that large of people who say they are interested.
politics, charles thomas
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