Larson endorses Dailly in Schaumburg mayoral race
Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson Wednesday broke his silence on the race to succeed him after 32 years in office by publicly endorsing longtime Trustee Tom Dailly.
"I saw some of the information on the opposition, and it hit me hard to see some of the things they're espousing in regard to things I spent years helping build," Larson said. "I see Tom as being head and shoulders above what's being offered by the opposition."
Dailly is sharing the ballot with Nafees Rahman, the deputy director of accounting in Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office, and Matthew J. Steward, an employee of the Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm who also serves as an adjunct professor at Dominican University.
"I'm humbled," Dailly said. "I'm honored. I'm even, to a point, choked up. He's been my friend and my mentor. I know he carefully considered this and he clearly recognizes that I have the ability, knowledge and experience to keep Schaumburg as good as it is."
Both of Dailly's opponents said the long association between him and Larson made the endorsement something they expected.
"The mayor's endorsement clearly and sharply defines the difference between my and Mr. Dailly's candidacies," Rahman said in a written statement.
"My candidacy represents the future of Schaumburg which is more open, diverse and fiscally responsible and Mr. Dailly's candidacy represents more of the same old Schaumburg. One has to wonder if Mayor Larson's endorsement of Mr. Dailly is about paying back an old friend, or protecting his legacy by making sure the sunshine stays out of village government for another four years."
Rahman cited an endorsement from White, his employer.
Steward said that while he respects Dailly's service as a trustee, he believes there is more than one path to the experience needed to be mayor.
Larson cited Money magazine's 2018 ranking of Schaumburg as the best place to live in Illinois and its 2017 ranking of the village as the ninth-best place to live in the U.S. as evidence of the strength of the village board's policies during his tenure.
"Schaumburg is a unique community and one of the most livable communities in the U.S.," he said. "I'm not saying that, Money magazine is saying that."
Among the campaign platforms Larson said he's concerned about is Rahman's plan to cut village expenses by 5 percent, which Larson said would gouge such long-standing programs as the Teen Center, senior services at The Barn, Septemberfest and the Prairie Arts Festival.
"I don't want to lose the Schaumburg I began my involvement with," Larson said. "Something precious is being challenged."
Larson said he's known Dailly for many years and that the village's slogan of "Progress Through Thoughtful Planning" is something he's taken to heart, in addition to having acquired a deep understanding of Schaumburg's finances.
The three-decade incumbent said he also found fault with the leadership styles Dailly's opponents are offering.
"It's not easy to get things done," Larson said. "You've got to be willing to count on folks, and I don't see that."