Thursday, September 9, 2010



Ed Burke, 14th Ward alderman and both dean and resident historian of the City Council, is quoted in today’s (Thursday, 9/9/10’s) Chicago Sun-Times as saying:

Historically, it’s rare that a member of the City Council becomes mayor. In fact, only twice, and then only once elected by the voters.”

I agree with the Alderman’s major point; it is a rarity for the mayor to come from the Council. (See my 9/7/10 post, “Long Live the King!”) But, while I might be wrong and hate to disagree with Burke on points of Chicago history, I can think of three mayors who came directly from the City Council into the mayor’s office:

--Levi Boone, elected by the voters in 1855, whom Burke cited.

--Mike Bilandic, elected by the City Council in the wake of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s death in 1976.

--Gene Sawyer, elected by the City Council in the wake of Mayor Harold Washington’s death in 1987.

There might be more, but there were more than two.

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