Amidst all of the clamor for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign in light of his refusal to release CPD dashcam video of a white veteran police officer shooting an unarmed Black teen 16 times, the question not being asked is what if the mayor does quit, then what? We know that should the mayor opt of completing his term – the most unlikely of any scenarios – Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward is in line to serve as interim mayor.
His council colleagues will then set a date for a special election to fulfill Mr. Emanuel’s unfinished term. Next we should expect a mad scramble of real contenders, also-rans, and perennials to start courting voters. There’s been no shortage of job-seekers for the city’s top post in the last two elections. In the foreseeable future, there is no reason for that scenario to change much. We should expect to see at least one major new mayoral candidate name in the scrum,
and that is president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Public Building Commissioner (PBC) Mariyana Spyropoulos. She is a Democrat with strong ties to the business community and brings tremendous fundraising capabilities. Her PBC role provides her insights about the city’s future development that her opponents won’t have. As a millennial Caucasian, female, M.B.A., attorney, Ms. Spyropoulos will bring a background to the race not seen in decades. Currently, there isn’t much conversation about her potential candidacy, but she surely is among the credible to keep an eye on. A Rahm resignation would not give her enough time to complete her biggest hurdles – connecting with and being embraced by African-American voters, but should he remain another three years, that is plenty of time for her to accomplish that mission.