A new poll has Dr. Willie Wilson, a Chicago businessman, within fewer than 10 points of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a head-to-head matchup. The poll, conducted by Victory Research and commissioned by Wilson’s supporters, has a margin of error of 3.46 percent and includes polling of live callers who answered on both land line and cell phones.
“The poll shows real vulnerability for Rahm Emanuel,” said Rev. Ira Acree, the pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church and the chairman of Wilson’s mayoral campaign exploratory committee, in a Dec. 17 statement.
“Voters appear to be angry at how things are going in the City of Chicago and it looks like they are looking for change. Dr. Wilson could be that change if we can convince him to run.”
Wilson used to own a string of McDonald’s restaurants before starting Omar Medical Supplies, which sales latex gloves and medical supplies and generated revenue of over $60 million this year, according to Wilson. He’s also host of the gospel music TV show “Singsation.”
Wilson ran for mayor of Chicago in 2015, placing third with around 11 percent of the vote before endorsing Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Last year, he ran for President of the United States.
Acree said that the recent poll showed around 37 percent of Chicago voters approving of Emanuel’s job performance, with roughly 60 percent responding that the mayor didn’t deserve to be elected.
During a Dec. 19 press conference, former state senator and political operative Rickey Hendon, who is also advising Wilson, said that the African American businessman “can compete” with Emanuel.
“He’s the only one that close to Rahm Emanuel. So, no, we’re not afraid of the big money,” Hendon said. “We have to fight the power.”
Acree touted Wilson’s generosity over the years, including giving $150,000 of his own money to help Chicago homeowners pay delinquent property taxes and donating more than $100,000 for Hurricane Harvey victims, among other acts of largesse.
“Voters seem to like what Dr. Wilson has been doing to help people,” Acree said. “Helping people is Dr. Wilson’s passion. It is who he is. I believe as the people of Chicago see Dr. Wilson in action, they will be eager to vote for him for mayor if he decides to run.”