Ald. Robert Fioretti may not be running for mayor yet, but he’s searching for campaign staffers like a politician who’s thinking about it.
The 2nd Ward alderman, a frequent critic of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, confirmed Tuesday that he has hired a campaign adviser. And Tuesday that aide posted to a political job board a message seeking four top staffers for a potential run for mayor.
“Chicago mayoral campaign seeks senior staff” the posting reads, notifying potential applicants of openings for a campaign manager, finance director, field director and communications director for a “progressive challenger.” The post does not name Fioretti as the candidate, but lists his new political adviser, Michael Kolenc, as the contact.
Kolenc recently signed on to advise Fioretti on a potential run against Emanuel in February’s city election. Kolenc most recently served as campaign manager for Yes For Independent Maps, an organization that ran a failed bid to launch a statewide constitutional amendment referendum on state legislative redistricting. First, opponents challenged whether enough of the group’s petition signatures were valid, then a Cook County judge tossed it from the ballot.
Even though Fioretti is seeking resumes from job candidates that “should have multiple cycles of campaign experience,” Kolenc said that doesn’t mean the 2nd Ward alderman has decided to run against Emanuel.
“Alderman Fioretti is looking for the senior staffers needed to launch a mayoral campaign should he decide to get in the race,” Kolenc said.
Asked when Fioretti would make that decision, Kolenc replied, “There is no timeline, but I think it is something that will happen sooner rather than later.”
So far, Emanuel faces no major challengers in his bid for a second term. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ruled out a run last month, and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has said she is contemplating taking on Emanuel.
The candidates who have declared they’re running include 77-year-old former Ald. Robert Shaw, little-known municipal consultant Amara Enyia, Chicago police officer Frederick Collins and failed Republican comptroller candidate William J. Kelly.