Welcome to the fifth interview of our Uncontested Races series! We have been exploring the question of why so many state and local offices go uncontested, even in major election years like 2016. Thus far, we’ve interviewed a 24-year-old Minnesotan state legislator, a University of Chicago political scientist, and the data-focused founder of RunforOffice.org.
We spoke with Professor Dick Simpson, the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Political Science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago for his perspective, especially in the local Chicago context. In addition to his academic career, Professor Simpson has been active in many areas of Chicago politics over the years, including serving as an alderman from the 44th Ward. Over the phone, we asked him about his personal views on the last couple decades of Chicago politics and his experience working with reform and progressive candidates, including State Representative Will Guzzardi. (more…)