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Chicago’s Democrats Watching Mayor Race

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Former Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been endorsed in the Chicago mayoral race by two House Members.

Moseley Braun served one term in the Senate in the mid-1990s, overlapping with a few members of the current Illinois Congressional delegation. Her Congressional endorsements have come from fellow African-Americans, Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. Davis considered running for mayor himself but endorsed Moseley Braun when he dropped out on New Year’s Eve. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. also considered running for mayor, but he declined to make an endorsement after he decided not to run in late October.

“I have many friends and colleagues who I deeply respect that may vie to be chief executive of the city, all of whom are very worthy and very capable of being the next mayor,” he said in a statement. “As a result, I will not be making an endorsement in the February 22nd mayoral election.”

Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Dan Lipinski also are neutral in the race. Lipinski said that though he knows all three top candidates, he doesn’t have particularly close relationships with them.

“I have relationships with a number of people who are running for mayor, and all I’m concerned about is having a good mayor that I can work with the way I worked with Mayor Daley,” he told Roll Call.

Another Illinois Member is not on the sidelines. Rep. Luis Gutierrez enthusiastically endorsed Chico, and the Chico campaign said his support of the fellow Latino is partly to do with the two politicians’ unity on the need for immigration reform, some Emanuel hasn’t supported. Gutierrez followed his January endorsement with a Spanish language commercial that ran for two weeks on Spanish television in the Chicago area. The Congressman also recorded a robocall for Chico and has appeared with him at at least 10 events, according to Chico’s campaign. He was planning to host a rally with him at Humboldt Park on Sunday.

Obama hasn’t offered an endorsement in the race, but his voice was used in a radio ad praising Emanuel. Obama and the first lady vote absentee in Chicago, and on Tuesday, then-White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters the couple had requested their ballots but hadn’t yet filled them out.

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