Fresh off receiving the endorsement of a major coalition of black leaders, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) all but officially announced he's running for mayor of Chicago Monday afternoon.
In an interview with WGN radio, Davis said he will "be making a formal announcement before the week is over."
The Chicago Coalition for Mayor, a group of influential black leaders in the city, surprised observers earlier this week when it backed Davis over former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Rev. James Meeks.
Even with that coalition's backing, however, the large field of African-American candidates could split the black vote and significantly hamper Davis' chances. Moseley Braun, for example, has already opened campaign offices even though she hasn't officially announced she's running yet.
And a divided African American vote, should all these contenders stay in the race, could help pave Emanuel's way to the mayor's office.
Davis appeared aware of that in Monday's interview. He said that it "looks like Rahm Emanuel will more than likely be in the runoff" but that he expects "to be in the runoff with him."
Emanuel's path was also made clearer last month when Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart dropped out of the race.
The Chicago Coalition for Mayor's endorsement of Davis also surprised observers because Davis has been an unsuccessful mayoral candidate in the past. Daley ran against Richard Daley in 1991 and lost by a two to one margin.
Davis, who has represented parts of downtown Chicago and the city's Near North Side for more than a decade, has also thrown his hat into other races only to pullout. He approached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) about the appointment to fill Pres. Obama's Senate seat. Blagojevich reportedly offered the seat to Davis, but Davis turned it down and recommended now former Sen. Roland Burris (D).
Other contenders in the race include former Daley Chief of Staff Gery Chico and Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle.
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