2003 Chicago mayoral election

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Chicago Mayoral election, 2003

← 1999 February 25, 2003 2007 →
Turnout 33.7%[1] Decrease 8.2 pp
  RMDaleyCropped (a).png 3x4.svg 3x4.svg
Candidate Richard M. Daley Paul Jakes Patricia McAllister
Popular vote 363,553 64,941 27,350
Percentage 78.05% 14.02% 5.90%

Mayor before election

Richard M. Daley

Elected Mayor

Richard M. Daley

The Chicago mayoral election of 2003 saw incumbent Mayor Richard M. Daley easily reelected against small and divided opposition, resulting in his best electoral showing of his career (78%). All of his opponents had little electoral experience.[2]

All three of Daley's opponents were African Americans.[2][3][4][5] Both Jakes,[4] and McAfee[5] were clergy. McAllister was a businesswoman.[3]

Daley's opponents struggled in fundraising and failed to receive backing from black leaders.[2] They also lacked name recognition.[2]

As was the case in all of his reelection campaigns, Daley did not attend any debates.[6]

By winning his fifth mayoral election, Daley tied Carter Harrison Sr. and Carter Harrison Jr. for the second-most mayoral election victories in Chicago history. Daley would subsequently win an additional mayoral election in 2007, thus surpassing both Harrisons and tying his own father's record for the most mayoral election victories.



The election saw what was, up to that point, the lowest turnout in Chicago mayoral election history, beating the previous low of 38.6% in 1947.[2]

Mayor of Chicago 2003[7] (General Election)
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Richard M. Daley (incumbent) 363,389 78.46
Nonpartisan Paul L. Jakes Jr. 64,929 14.02
Nonpartisan Patricia McAllister 27,343 5.90
Nonpartisan Joseph McAfee 7,484 1.62
Turnout 463,145 100.00


  1. ^ Denvir, Daniel (May 22, 2015). "Voter Turnout in U.S. Mayoral Elections Is Pathetic, But It Wasn't Always This Way". City Lab (The Atlantic). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Daley: A Retrospective: A Historical Exploration of Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley by Chicago Tribune Staff Dec 18, 2012
  3. ^ a b Daley Reign Continues In Chicago by Jarrett Murphy (Associated Press) February 26, 2003
  4. ^ a b Jakes, a true believer, stands alone - Chicago Tribune
  5. ^ a b Rev. Moon and the black clergy - Chicago Tribune
  6. ^ Chicago's Long-Running Daley Show Ken Rudin February 21, 2007
  7. ^ "2003 Municipal General - 2/25/03".

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