Friday, December 10, 2010

Speaking of political dynasties....

Kind of what was mentioned in last night's post about corruption in Illinois one may start to emerge in the City of Gary thanks to this report from Chicago Public Radio. The daughter of former Mayor Richard Hatcher is seeking Gary's Mayoralty:
Right now, [Ragen Hatcher is] an at-large member of the Gary City Council. Instead of making a bid for another four-year term, she wants another position in the city: mayor. If she wins May’s Democratic primary, and then the general election in November, she would be the first woman to hold that seat.and, of course, she would be the second Hatcher at the city’s helm.

Gary’s next mayor, regardless of whether it’s a Hatcher or not, will face serious problems. The next mayor will have to reduce crime, improve the city’s failing schools and find ways to attract economic investment.  Plus, the city’s nearly broke, thanks in large part to Indiana’s new property tax cap system and major reductions in U.S. Steel’s tax obligations.
However it’s not a foregone conclusion that Ragen Hatcher will actually get an electoral boost by being associated with her father. After all, not everyone views the name ‘Hatcher’ through the rosy glow of the civil rights movement—some actually associate the name with the city’s deterioration during Richard Hatcher’s 20 year tenure the city saw a mass exodus of the city’s white population.

“Out in the suburbs, Hatcher’s name has a negative connotation,” said James Lane, history professor at Indiana University Northwest in Gary and co-founder of the Calumet Regional Archives at IUN. “Many blame (Hatcher) for having to loose their homes or sell their homes at bargain basement prices but that trend might have been hurried by Hatcher’s election but that trend was going on.”
Here's is who she will likely be facing well in next years Gary municipal elections:
One is another woman: Karen Freeman Wilson, a graduate of Harvard law school. Freeman Wilson has done a little of everything. She served as Gary City Court judge and was appointed as Indiana attorney general by Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon in 2000.  Another opponent, and perhaps the toughest to beat, is Rudy Clay. He’s held the office since 2006. Clay is also a veteran of Lake County, Indiana’s rough and tumble political game.

“Her name is only going to help her in the fact that she’s in opposition to the incumbent,” [Gary resident Derric Price] said. “Other than that, people are going to look for ideas. What are you going to do different?”
You should read the whole article. I'm going to assume Gary's municipal elections are next year. Of course Chicago's municipal elections will commence on February 22, 2011.

You can check out Ms. Ragen Hatcher's campaign website here.

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