• Miguel Del Valle
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology

Miguel del Valle was grinning at lunchtime today—and why wouldn’t he be? He’d just learned that the appellate court had knocked Rahm Emanuel off the ballot. Emanuel will appeal that ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court, but for the moment there was joy in del Valle’s humble campaign headquarters on Grand Avenue in West Town.

Around noon, del Valle was in a meeting in a cramped office there when he heard cheering erupt in the next room, and wondered what was going on. The news had just come over TV.

“Here’s what I think this does,” he said a half hour later. “Voters had bought into this air of invincibility that has been orchestrated by the Emanuel campaign—that he’s sure to win because of his bottomless pit of dollars.” So they hadn’t really considered Emanuel’s opponents, del Valle said. “Now they’ll think, OK—what about the others? That will allow people like me to get a first look. I haven’t even gotten a first look, because people said, These other guys don’t stand a chance. And maybe the first look will lead to a second look. Then the dynamics change—even if he gets back in.”