Carol Moseley Braun, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate, has emerged as the sole prominent African American candidate in the Chicago mayor's race after the withdrawal of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis.
Davis' decision, announced at a New Year's Eve news conference, followed weeks of pressure from many African American leaders who believe that only a consensus black candidate can beat former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other contenders in the race to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley.
And on Saturday morning, Davis and State Sen. James Meeks, who ended his own run for mayor days ago, appeared at a rally at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition with the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., his son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush to drum up support for Braun.
Braun, 63, spent much of her brief speech reminding the audience about her resume. She said that her time in the Senate, her local political career and her experience as a businesswoman make her "the most qualified candidate for the job of mayor of Chicago, make no mistake about it."
Braun was elected to the Senate in 1992 and served a single term.
The emergence of a unity black candidate could have a profound impact on the election, which will lead to an April 5 runoff between the two top vote-getters if no one gets at least 50 percent in the first round Feb. 2.