Mayoral candidate Daniel Biss rejects Ald. Ann Rainey’s endorsement


Maia Spoto/Daily Senior Staffer

Mayoral candidate Daniel Biss. Biss rejected Ald. Ann Rainey’s endorsement after her comments against Clerk Reid.

Alex Harrison, Reporter

Former state Senator and Evanston mayoral candidate Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said Friday he could no longer accept Ald. Ann Rainey’s (8th) endorsement.

This statement comes after Rainey apologized, and then recanted, to City Clerk Devon Reid for anti-Black comments she made at a candidate forum last week.

“Ald. Rainey… reiterated the view that she has the right to control the way in which one of her political opponents tells his own personal story,” Biss said. “The principle that we should give everyone an opportunity to be heard simply does not work when one person uses her voice to silence someone else’s.”

At a candidate’s forum last week held by the League of Women Voters of Evanston, Rainey called 8th Ward aldermanic challenger Reid, who is Black, a “very scary man,” and later told the Daily he needs to “straighten up” and “grow up.”

Biss released a statement Monday night condemning Rainey’s comments at the forum. Fellow mayoral candidates Lori Keenan and Sebastian Nalls also released a separate, joint statement against Rainey’s comments.

On her official Facebook page, Rainey said Tuesday her comment about Reid “was inappropriate and for that I apologize.”

“In no way do I find him personally ‘scary’ and I have apologized to Clerk Reid for my poor choice of words,” Rainey said. “In addition, I want to apologize to any one that I have offended. I understand that words matter and I will be more thoughtful.”

But Rainey struck a different tone in a direct email to Reid, which was published Thursday to the Evanston Fight for Black Lives Facebook page.

In it, she told Reid “you know I meant nothing racist by my scary comment,” and “you need to call off the race baiters and the hate mongers.”

“This is the filthiest campaign I have seen in 34 years,” Rainey wrote. “There are other ways to campaign. This is utterly disgusting and it needs to stop.”

Ald. Rainey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The 8th Ward incumbent will face off against Reid and several other opponents in the Consolidated Primary Election on Feb. 23.

“Until Ald. Rainey is willing to embrace the legitimacy of everyone’s right to tell their own story and engage in public dialogue in the manner they see fit, and to have real, difficult, and public conversations about her offensive comments, her support is not welcome,” Biss said in his Friday statement. 

This is a developing story and will be updated when more information becomes available. 

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Twitter: @alexhairysun

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