Race for mayor heats up

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//img-FA76zxnthK.jpg’, ‘Photos by Jon Bystrom’, ‘More than 300 supporters turned out on Sept. 28 for attorney Larry Morrissey’s announcement of his Independent candidacy for Mayor of Rockford at the Greater Rockford Airport. ‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//img-nhJKrNj9yn.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jon Bystrom’, ”);

Morrissey runs as Independent

Wilson’s in mayoral race: an interview

Editor’s note: As he ran in the 2001 mayoral race, on Sept. 28, Larry Morrissey announced he is again an independent candidate, ending speculation that he would enter the Republican or Democratic primaries.

On Oct. 4, Mario Blackman, an affordable housing and neighborhood advocate, announced his entry into the Democratic primary against Mayor Doug Scott.

Joe Wilson, owner of Wilson Auto Body, is also running against Scott in the primary. Following is TRRT’s interview with Wilson.

TRRT: What do you think of the last three-and-a-half years of the Doug Scott administration?

Wilson: The Scott administration, I believe, has been a slow, depressing situation with over 13,000 people out of work. I can’t see why he hasn’t taken care of the people of Rockford, nor has he taken the time to save our industries. He also hasn’t taken the time to save people’s jobs. It’s like he’s become invisible.

TRRT: Do you expect support from the Speaker of the House Mike Madigan’s office for Scott; and if so, in what form?

Wilson: Yes. Madigan is a Democrat, but people should know that Scott generates a large sum of his political power not far from Rockford. It seems to me everyone outside of this city that Scott works with are the people playing a key role in running our city.

TRRT: Do you expect support from the Mayor Daley’s office and the Chicago machine for Scott; and if so, in what form?

Wilson: I don’t believe Daley will support the Scott administration; not only has our city fallen into an economic downfall, but we have poor political governing from the mayor’s office.

He is looking to improve all the wrong areas of Rockford.

TRRT: Define Doug Scott’s political base.

Wilson: I believe Doug Scott’s political base is set upon cleaning up certain aspects of our city. As I see it, he’s out to make his close friends richer while keeping the taxpayer down.

He’s not yet defined himself as a true Democrat. He has misled the citizens of Rockford, keeping them on the edge of their seat. He has a lack of realistic communication.

TRRT: Will you have any support from statewide organizations or connections?

Wilson: I have no current support from any statewide organizations, but I do hope that I can gain the support and belief of this city.

TRRT: Will you have any support from any organizations or individuals in Chicago?

Wilson: No.

TRRT: Define your political base.

Wilson: My political base will be putting people back to work, bringing industries and manufacturers back to Rockford and regaining a large portion of the jobs lost in this city. I want to give people their hopes back and offer them a new shot at life. I also would like to direct a major crack down on crime.

TRRT: How would you stop companies leaving Rockford?

Wilson: By going to state and federal government, and by educating our people to perform their job duties. If the issue is finances with companies, we will pursue higher organizations to resolve their problems.

TRRT: What will be the most important issue in this mayoral race?

Wilson: A mayor with a backbone that could change the course of this city to a positive direction.

TRRT: What’s your position on posting city budgets, bids and bid winners online?

Wilson: I believe that the public has a right to know where their tax dollars are going.

TRRT: How much do you think will be spent this year on the mayoral race?

Wilson: I have no notion how much my fellow candidates will be spending, but for my own personal viewpoint, I don’t believe this is the main issue—how much the mayoral race will cost. It’s basically about getting a lot of the city’s loose ends tied up.

TRRT: What is your position on campaign finance reform and partisan elections?

Wilson: I believe that elections should be left alone. Our country has voted for their own party for decades and decades. Whether or not we separate or unite, there will still be different groups for different issues.

TRRT: What is your position on renewable energy use and promotion by city government?

Wilson: Renewable energy would be a great investment for Rockford, but now is not the time for that investment. It may help with less pollution, but it may also pull people out of work. I feel that our city is not yet ready for this. We need gas and oil, but I feel we should do something about this in the future. There is going to have to be a lot of research put into this issue.

TRRT: Do you think you can win? Why?

Wilson: Yes. I believe I have a good chance because I am a local business owner, and I understand the financial roller coaster that the city is going through. I am the only person in this mayoral race that isn’t focused on any certain area; but instead, I want to improve Rockford and bring it to a full circle. My platform stands on bringing back industry and putting people back to work with good-paying, scale jobs.

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