7th Ward (South Side: South Hyde Park, 71st Street to 104th Street): It would be trite and inaccurate to color the Democratic ward committeeman race between Alderman Sandi Jackson (7th) and county Commissioner Bill Beavers as the end of the beginning for Jackson or the beginning of the end for Beavers. In actuality, it's the end of the end for the "Beavers Clan" and the beginning of the beginning of a long reign by the "Jackson Clan."The gist of this whole column is the impact a strong run by Barack Obama would have on races involving black politicians in the Chicago area. Sen. Obama's presidential run could affect some of these committeeman's races, the county races (especially state's attorney where Ald. Howard Brookins seems to expect Barack's bid to help him), and maybe some of the state general assembly races. The idea is that turnout will be up for blacks who want to help elect a black man president. Sounds good doesn't it?
Beavers, the ward's alderman from 1983 to 2006, resigned to be appointed as a county commissioner to replace the ailing John Stroger. Stroger's son Todd was named as his father's replacement as nominee for Cook County Board president, and Beavers was perceived as his mentor. To date, given Todd Stroger's inept job, Beavers is now Stroger's victim: Given Stroger's cuts in county jobs, especially at Stroger Hospital, Commissioner Beavers bears the blame. Beavers will lose as ward committeeman in 2008, and he will lose his job as commissioner in 2010.
In the 2007 aldermanic race, Jackson, the wife of U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2), demolished Beavers' daughter, Darcel Beavers, getting 6,462 votes (57 percent of the total cast), to 3,703 (33 percent) for Darcel.
The 2008 reality is this: Jesse Jackson is ascendant, and he is chairman of Obama's Illinois campaign. The voters in the 7th Ward are ready for change, as evidenced by the 2007 result. The alderman will beat the commissioner with at least 65 percent of the vote. Bill Beavers' hopes for re-election in 2010 are nonexistent. The Jesse/Sandi political base in the 7th Ward is rock solid. If Daley retires as mayor in 201l, Jesse Jackson is well positioned to run for the job.
I don't know about the race in the 7th ward. Of course to me the war between the Jacksons and the Beavers have only come up fairly recently. I'm sure that there have been stories out there about rumblings long before last year's municipal elections where Sandi Jackson edged out incumbent Ald. Darcel Beavers. Oh yeah Darcel being the daughter of former alderman and current Cook County Commissioner Bill Beavers.
The expectation here is that Jackson may be poised to go after Chicago's mayoralty. Some will say that he didn't pull the trigger when he needed to last year, that is he should have went for it. He chose not to and as to whether that was a smart decision is another question. Fact is the rumbling still continues and only time will tell if Jesse Jr. is ready to go for the mayor's office by 2011.
Only time will tell if Beavers might lose his commissioner's seat. Some could say it was because he helped elect Todd Stroger in 2006. Others could say that the only reason he might be in trouble is because of his big mouth. It may very well be the big mouth more than anything that's not helping him!
I have one question though, if he loses who could replace him? Will he be opposed in the primary? If he isn't could some no name Republican actually win this one? I wonder if people in the commissioner's district would be fed up enough to vote Republican if there isn't a Democratic opponent for him.
I know I'm thinking a little too much here. Typically if a Republican ran in solidly Democratic black areas, it would be a squash match. The jobber (the Republican) would almost always lose to someone who is supposed to win (the Democrat). Yeah I'm using mostly wrestling terms but that's how it seems to work. Not that I would say it's how it is supposed to work, but it often works out that way.