Paul Vallas is Becoming the Inevitable Candidate for Mayor

By John Kass

January 10, 2023

 Paul Vallas, the Chicago mayoral candidate, had an eventful week on the campaign trail.

He won the endorsement of the police union, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, which is always important but most especially now, with the city overwhelmed by street crime and incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot demonstrating again and again that she has no ideas on how to stop the violence against Chicagoans.

He is becoming the inevitable candidate and now there is a question as to whether Mayor Lori Lightfoot even makes the runoff.

And he crushed it in an appearance on The Chicago Way podcast that I co-host with Jeff Carlin. His answers are quick and sometimes sarcastically dry. You can see the confidence in him.

“Were not going to have a war on cops when I’m mayor. We’re not going talking about abandoning accountability…I will back them and support them.  I will hold them accountable when somebody violates the rules,” Vallas said.

There has been a war on cops in Chicago, from the political and government classes, for years. It has been corrosive. And who is hurt? The people with no power are hurt. Those who seek protection from the lawless predators are hurt.

“The city is in serious crisis,” Vallas told The Chicago Way. “Its potential is being crushed by crime, by a school system, cycle that has Chicago paying the highest taxes fines and fees in the country. You’re seeing a crisis of leadership. The key to the city’s survival and prosperity is growth. The city used to be 50 percent middle class, today it is 15 percent middle class. You’ve got to grow the city, that’s how you grow the tax base. You grow it by making sure every community is safe and secure, by making sure there are quality school options.”

I get it. You get it. The Illinois political class gets it, even if they refuse to acknowledge it.  But do enough of the people of Chicago get it? Or are they content to just sit there, passively, with Chicago running out of time?

(Copyright 2023 John Kass)


Comments 18

  1. Vallas indeed has the right ideas and the experience to put them into motion, but how will he and the City council be able to navigate around Fox and Evans where the deck has been and is stacked against all Chicagoans?
    The judicial system has ruined the city and Cook County.

  2. I totally agree. He has a history of success here and elsewhere. Does he have a chance?
    I hope your recovery is going well with decreasing need for pain remediation.

  3. Mr. Sarovich is one hundred percent correct.

    I fear that unless he also has a plan to counter the power and influence of Boss Toni and her minion, Kim Foxx, whatever he may accomplish as mayor will be for naught.

  4. Although I believe that Mr. Vallas is absolutely correct, I think that the historic voting record of the people in Chicago will once again prove that my Dad was right when he said “People get the kind of politicians that they deserve”.

    1. Dan, your dad certainly was right. The same can be said about police unions. Police departments that deserve them get them and they get the kind of unions they deserve.

  5. Flew into the O’Hare international terminal this weekend and tried to get thru baggage claim and get an Uber – the mess and chaos of this alone should get Lori Lightfoot fired!

  6. Safety & Schools are what we need to bring the middle class back. 15% is a dismal # to drop to! When we begin to loose the retail… the City goes next! Our schools are almost non existent, our retail is dying & now to say 15% of the City is middle class…. We need the security of an active police force, and we need Paul Vallas!

  7. Chicago voters are notoriously ignorant of what they really need. Are they willing to grow a brain and elect someone who will actually help? I doubt it! And with Foxx and her minions, will someone like Vallas be able to make the necessary changes? Yikes!!

  8. It seems Mayor Lightweight is more concerned about Chuy Garcia, as her ubiquitous ads against him prove. The ad is an amateurish cartoon accusing him of various improprieties with now-disgraced individuals whom Democrats once whole-heartedly embraced. While Vallas is running ads that treat voters as if they had a modicum of intelligence, Lightweight runs ads treating them like first-graders.

  9. I’ve known Paul Vallas for over 30 years. We met during his days in Illinois State Government. He is of the highest character and competence that I’ve ever experienced. Character qualities are the MOST important…competence is secondary…Vallas has both qualities in abundance.

  10. The 15% middle class number for Chicago is shockingly low – hadn’t heard this figure before. Wonder what the upper class number is out of curiosity? Census figures or some other database?

    Regardless, it will be hard to dig out of this hole if Chicago’s citizens are lacking in financial resources – can’t pay taxes or support retail and real estate growth if you don’t have money. Then it becomes a “tax the rich and those evil corporations” strategy for government until they have had enough and leave town. Tourists and conventions have other options beyond Chicago. Suburbanites have their choices too – fewer reasons to visit a city where retail is in decline and safety seems less than certain.

    Not an easy job for whoever wins, though I’m hoping Paul Vallas is elected and can start to turn things around.

  11. I still can’t believe Lightfoot and Prewinkle were in the general in 2019. I thought it would be Bill Daley. This year I won’t be surprised if Lightfoot wins again. However, it might be like Detroit who elected Mike Duggan in 2013 and brought huge change. I sure hope Vallas can pull it off. After the elections last November it’s hard anymore to “assume” what voters will do. Obviously Lightfoot has to go. She’s a national joke. Yet…… do the actual voters see that???????🤔🧐

  12. John, nice interview. But you missed one item I suggested you ask Paul about. The city faces numerous issues. But the top three in no particular order are Crime, Education and Fiscal Integrity. I think Paul’s ideas for Crime and Education are spot on. Not sure how far he’d get with the City Council and the unions, but he would move in the right direction. His ideas about the city’s fiscal viability I question. Growth alone will not cut it. The city of Chicago and the State of Illinois are so business unfriendly that the best that can be expected is to stem the loss of business or very slight increases. But certainly not enough growth to solve the city’s financial problems. The 600 pound gorilla in the room are the unsustainable public service employee pensions. You don’t fix those (and I’m speaking of moving from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans [401k type plans]) and the city’s fiscal issues continue and the sky high taxes he wants to lower can only go up. As a journalist John, you have to ask him if he can address the issue and if he can stand up to the unions to fix this. I’ve never seen a Democrat that can, and that is why Chicago is in the fiscal mess it’s in.

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