02/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Replacing Rahm: Feigenholtz, Fritchey, Geoghegan Enter Fray, Daley Staying Neutral (VIDEO)

Mayor Daley announced his intention to stay neutral in the crowded Congressional race to succeed incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the Tribune reports:

The mayor said he doubted that he would endorse anyone in the special election for the 5th Congressional District.

Daley's patronage armies worked to elect Emanuel, a former mayoral campaign aide, as a congressman representing much of Chicago's North Side.

Daley's comments follow a Sun-Times report that Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th) is the likely candidate to receive the Democratic Party's endorsement-- and the reams of campaign help that comes with it-- after Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said he would not run. O'Connor, who is Daley's unofficial City Council floor leader, has not declared his candidacy.

Labor lawyer and progressive writer Tom Geoghegan and State Reps. John Fritchey and Sara Feigenholtz officially joined the field Tuesday. Geoghegan declared his entry via a statement that appeared on a number of web sites (including The Huffington Post) while Fritchey used an announcement on his Facebook page, followed by an appearance on Fox's "Good Morning Chicago":

I've looked at this for many, many weeks now to see if this was the right choice to make. I think it's a very unique time in history. I came into the general assembly with President-elect Obama. We both came into the Illinois legislature in 1996. I think the opportunity to serve in an Obama administration -- in that Congress -- is a unique opportunity. The 5th District is a great district. It runs from the lakefront all the way to the Dupage County line. It's a great cross-section of the city and suburbs. I'm honored to have just an attempt to even try to represent the district.

Feigenholtz held a more formal kick off at her alma mater, Northeastern Illinois University:

Other candidates include Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, former Transportation Security Administration official Justin Oberman and former journalist and University of Chicago lecturer Charles Wheelan.

Feigenholtz said she has already raised $300,000, giving her a strong fundraising lead, according to the Sun-Times. Quigley told the paper he expects to match her numbers. Oberman, Wheelan and doctor Victor Forys all said they had raised over $100,000.