In a small city in Illinois known as Peoria there was an interesting rebirth. Peoria of the early 1980s was struggling until a man born of Lebanese immigrants decided to make a long shot run for mayor. He had to contend with an opponent with 6 years in office and was able to pull it off against him. To be sure it was a fluke in some respect and I'm sure Jim Maloof would disagree, but when he ran in the primary of 1985 he barely edged out the competition but had just enough votes to get to the next round. Then he worked hard to win the next round. He called another mayor of another struggling city with a vision and the rest was history. If Peoria was depressed just like America was in the 1970, Maloof was Peoria's Ronald Reagan.
In any event today Peoria is in a lot better shape. Perhaps better shape than the rest of Illinois and Illinois needs a candidate like Maloof.
Here's the column from the Illinois Leader.