Candidates seek support

CHICAGO (AP) – Front-runner Richard M. Daley, flush with money and endorsements, and a wide lead in the polls, campaigned Sunday in the strongholds of chief mayoral rival Timothy Evans, seeking to boost his standing among black voters.

With just two days remaining before Tuesday’s election, Democratic nominee Daley, Evans, the lone black in the race, and Republican Edward Vrdolyak all began their stretch runs with stops before the black church audiences that helped catapault the late Mayor Harold Washington to victories in 1983 and 1987.

Tuesday’s winner will complete the two years remaining in the second term of Washington, the city’s first black mayor. He died in November 1987 only months after winning re-election.

“Remember this about politics,” Daley said, sounding conciliatory themes at the Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church. “One day you can see people screaming at one another and then see them the next day sitting across a table and working together. …

“Tell the people you know to get out and vote, but don’t do it just to be against somebody else,” he added.

Late poll results show Daley holding a lead of between 14 and 20 points over Evans, a South Side alderman running on the Harold Washington Party ticket, and nearly 45 points over Vrdolyak.

The three-term Cook County prosecutor and son of six-term mayor, the late Richard J. Daley, won polite applause and an occasional cheer as he addressed several hundred worshipers.

Outside the oak-paneled nave of the church, worshiper Mary Crowell said, “I don’t think he changed many people’s minds, but you have to respect the man for coming down here to speak.”

Evans, meanwhile, kicked off his day by greeting worshipers at St. Mark United Methodist Church.

“I feel at home because I lived for many years just a block away,” Evans said. “And I’ve come this morning to ask for your special blessing. …I need each of you to call 12 people and ask them to call 12 people and tell all of them to punch 12 because that’s my number on the ballot.”