Quick quiz: Heard about the Mendoza vs. Horton runoff?

19 Feb

Susana Mendoza (left) and Patricia Horton (right) are vying to be Chicago's first female city clerk.

This may come as a shock to many voters when they get their ballots Tuesday, but, in addition to the race for mayor and their aldermanic race, there are two other citywide offices to be determined: Chicago City Clerk and City Treasurer.

The race for clerk, which is he office mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle’s is vacating, is a contest between two women: Susana Mendoza and Patricia Horton. Very little attention has been focused on this runoff and here are 10 things you may or may not know about it:

1. No matter who wins, this will be the first time Chicago will have a woman as city clerk.

2. The clerk’s office has a $9 million annual budget and currently 96 employees. The responsibilities include selling city vehicle stickers, parking permits and maintaining city council records.

3. Two of the last three city clerks, Walter Kozubowski and James Laski, were convicted of crimes in office and served time in Federal prisons.

4. Horton, 55, an ordained pastor, is a single mother of four children. Mendoza, 38, is single and lives in the Mexican neighborhood of Little Village on the southwest side.

5. Mendoza is seen as the frontrunner. She has the support, or endorsements, of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Ald. Edward Burke, Ill. House Speaker Michael Madigan, Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Ill. Secretary of State Jesse White, Cook County Commissioner John Daley and Chicago Federation of Labor.

6. Horton was elected a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago in 2006. Notable support comes from U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown and State Sen. Rickey Hendon.

7. Mendoza, 38, was recently elected to her sixth term as a state representative of Illinois’ 1st district, but did not resign to run for clerk and will keep her legislative job if unsuccessful Tuesday. In Springfield, she voted for the individual income tax hike in January.

8. Horton wants to reduce the vehicle sticker price to $20 to $25. She thinks that this will encourage people to purchase stickers and get more people registered in Chicago.

9. Mendoza says that the city clerk’s office may raise revenue by selling ad space on the back of city stickers. She estimated the move could bring in as much as $15 million per year.

10. Mendoza wants to employ Twitter and other social media to let voters better see city council ordinances and amendments when they are filed. Horton wants to work with Chicago Public Schools to get the names of all Chicago children in an Amber Alert database held by the clerk; and post city contracts and change-order requests online.

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