Gloves Off: Challenger Vallas Calls Mayor Emanuel 'A Bully'

Craig Dellimore
May 02, 2018 - 12:22 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas made it official Wednesday morning: He is joining a crowded field challenging Rahm Emanuel for Mayor of Chicago.

Vallas, who served as a city budget director previously, said he'll criticize what he considers to be Emanuel's failure to address looming financial problems, such as unpaid pensions.

He also said he doesn't appreciate the mayor's sometimes abrasive style.

“People don’t like the mayor,” Vallas said during an hourlong session with reporters. He added, as if speaking to Emanuel: “Sorry – they don’t like you. You’re a bully, you intimidate people.”

Vallas said other candidates in the crowded field to unseat Emanuel have talked, but he said there's no agreement to play nice and gang up on the incumbent.

“Rahm would like to think there’s a grand conspiracy. He wants to say it’s Rahm against the world. Maybe it’s the world against Rahm, but … maybe it’s because of Rahm’s own doing.”

RELATED: Former Schools CEO Paul Vallas Will Run For Chicago Mayor

Emanuel disputes the notion that Vallas is a master of budgeting. He said the challenger was “the architect of kicking the can down the road. From skipping pension payments, eliminating direct-line revenue to support teachers pensions."


Vallas ran for lieutenant governor when Pat Quinn ran for governor in 2014; they lost to the Republican ticket led by Bruce Rauner. The 64-year-old Vallas also ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002, losing to Rod Blagojevich.

This is a race that already includes former police superintendent Garry McCarthy, self-made millionaire Willie Wilson, Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, educator Troy LaRaviere, activist Ja'Mal Green and tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin.