Upon last week’s announcement by Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley that he will not seek re-election, many potential candidates are stating their interest. Among them is three-term Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, who is “considering a run for mayor.”
The Chicago Tribune reported today, that she indicated, “I’m really, really looking at it. I’m one of the highest vote-getters in the county, so I am looking at this.”
Pappas is currently running for re-election as treasurer this November. She is a former county commissioner. Pappas once unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate in 2004; an election ultimately won by then-State Senator Barack Obama. Pappas will not make any official announcements until after the November election.
This morning Pappas told Cisco Cotto on his WLS radio show that her: “tremendous record and executive experience” make her a good candidate. Pappas is very passionate about Chicago and how things are run. “I can do this,” she said. She pointed to her record as treasurer as her qualifications for the position. “I came into an office with $30 million in checks sitting on the floor, checks that weren’t cashed for four months. There was no accounting system, no general ledger. I’ve organized the office. I’ve reduced the staff by 50%. My website gets 400,000 hits a month. I have a great record. People like me – and that’s important. And I love this city,” Pappas claimed. “Enough people around here have had enough. I can’t fix everything – God is in charge of the universe – but I can do a good job.”
Yesterday Pappas told Fox Chicago News that race and gender shouldn’t be issues. “I think it’s about people feeling that they can rely on someone to get the job done. Is she or he the person that can step up and take charge and run it? Is he or she afraid of anything? I think if you talk to people, they’ll tell you I am not afraid. I can handle this– and I think people have confidence in me that I could.”
Pappas, 61, a lawyer and psychologist, is of Cretan descent and is married to former Cook County judge Peter Kamberos. She’s very proud of her Greek heritage. She’s very proud of her Greek heritage, as evidenced in events such as the annual Vasilopita celebration at the Treasurer’s office.
Pappas told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I’ve really managed this office (Treasurer’s office) well, and I know how to build coalitions. I’ve got a track record.”