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Absent Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor’s Race Forum Devolves Into Crack-Smoking Accusations

The most explosive moment in the current Chicago Mayoral race (aside from those red-hot residency requirements) may have occurred Sunday at a candidate’s forum from which lightning-rod frontrunner Rahm Emanuel was absent. Former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun lashed out at opponent Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins by saying that she was out of touch because she had been “strung out on crack for twenty years.”

Van Pelt-Watkins has spoken honestly about her long-ago drug use, which she says did not include crack cocaine. She’s now demanding an apology from Moseley Braun.

As the Chicago Tribune points out, it’s unclear what Moseley Braun hoped to accomplish by attacking her opponent in this way. Van Pelt-Watkins is polling at less than 1% in the race, while Moseley Braun currently rests in second place, at 21%. Although it’s unlikely she’ll catch Emanuel before the Feb. 22 election, she could wind up in a run-off if Emanuel fails to capture 50% of the vote.

Here’s video of the exchange, plus some interviews with the other candidates in which they take shots at Emanuel for skipping the forum: (from ABC-7)


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