Home>Feature>Cory Booker’s ex-police director loses bid for Chicago mayor

Newark mayor Cory Booker and police director Garry McCarthy in 2011

Cory Booker’s ex-police director loses bid for Chicago mayor

Garry McCarthy gets 2.7% in Democratic primary

By David Wildstein, February 27 2019 11:05 am

Former Newark police director Garry McCarthy won just 2.7% of the vote in yesterday’s primary for mayor of Chicago.

He finished tenth in a field of fourteen candidates.

A former New York City police officer and deputy commissioner, McCarthy came to Newark in 2006 as the pick of newly-elected mayor Cory Booker’s pick for police director.

McCarthy went to Chicago in 2011 when new mayor Rahm Emmanuel named him as the new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

Emmanuel fired McCarthy in 2015 amid a controversy over an alleged cover-up of a 17-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer.

McCarthy entered the race last year, before Emanuel announced that he would not seek re-election.

He faced criticism from Chicago’s black community for a comment he made at an Irish American Heritage Center fundraiser that some considered racially insensitive.

“We are losing blacks and you know which blacks we are losing? We are losing the middle class taxpayers who can afford to get out from the South and West Sides,” the Chicago Sun Times reported McCarthy saying.  “So who is being left behind is the trigger-pullers. What kind of toxic soup is being created on the South and West Sides?”

Chicago is poised to elect its first black woman mayor, with former Chicago Police Board president Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board of Commissioners president Toni Preckwinkle advanced to an April runoff.

William Daley, the son and brother of former mayors and a former White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama, finished third in the primary – about 6,000 votes behind Preckwinkle.

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2 thoughts on “Cory Booker’s ex-police director loses bid for Chicago mayor

  1. Yesterday’s election was a non-partisan race with a runoff, not a Democratic primary (though all fourteen candidates were Democrats). Also, Chicago had a woman Mayor in the early 80s.

    1. Good point about primary v runoff. And you’re right about Chicago the 80s — Jane Byrne, memorably portrayed in the Steve Dahl parody “You Better Get a Gun” (to the tune of REO’s “Take It On the Run”) was the first elected mayor of any big city at the time she served, from 1979-1983. But the story is accurate to characterize either Lightfoot or Preckwinkle as poised to become Chicago’s “first black woman mayor.”

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