The latest group to announce candidate endorsements in Chicago's City Council races is the Chicago Teachers Union. The 30,000-member strong CTU is backing 25 candidates for alderman in all, a list that includes incumbents Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward), Pat Dowell (3rd Ward), Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), Freddrenna Lyle (6th Ward), Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Tony Foulkes (15th Ward), Latasha Thomas (17th Ward), Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward), Jason Ervin (28th Ward), Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward), Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), and Joe Moore (49th Ward). Hip-hop artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith, who is in a battle with Ald. Willie Cochran in the 20th Ward, won the union's backing, as did Marc Kaplan, one of 11 candidates vying to replace Helen Shiller in the 46th Ward.
In a press release, the CTU said they will make campaign contributions to everyone on their list. The union will send mailers to its members and phone bank for 15 candidates, and canvassers will assist an additional eight. "This is our year to elect a City Council that throws out its rubber stamp and becomes a deliberative body again," CTU President Karen Lewis said. "We have to work day and night so that we have a new City Council that hears educators', parents' and students' message loud and clear -- improve our neighborhood schools now."
CTU did not make an endorsement in the mayoral race today, but stated it will vote on supporting one of two "progressive" candidates at a meeting on February 14.