Harvey elections 2023: Mayoral candidate guide

The polls are still open. Read up on the mayoral candidates before you cast your ballots.

The polls are still open. If you’re in line by 7pm, stay in line to cast your vote.

And read up on the mayoral candidates while you wait. Candidates are listed in ballot order.


Chris Clark

As a 3rd Ward alderman, Clark led a reform effort to bring term limits to Harvey. He was a fierce critic of former mayor Eric J. Kellogg, advocating for lower water bills, increased transparency, and even federal intervention.

Under Clark’s leadership, normalcy has returned to basic city services, like garbage pickup, cutting grass, and payroll. Clark has worked with state and federal leaders to secure funding to demolish eyesoar properties and make improvements in infrastructure, such as sidewalk repairs downtown and fixing street lights along Halsted between 146th and 171st Streets.

The website, long neglected, has been updated, also. However, the administration hasn’t done the best job in the past year of updating the site. For instance, former alderman Quinton Crudup, who resigned last year, is still incorrectly listed as an alderman.

He has often noted that teamwork, leadership, and collaboration are important to bringing public and private investments to Harvey. Social media campaign advertisements boast that his administration has brought at least $300 million in investments to Harvey. That’s a tad misleading, however, given at least $184 million of that amount is coming from Metra and Pace transit overhauls, as well as a massive rehabilitation of Wood Street, of which Harvey isn’t even providing any financing. The advertisements do not specify which projects Clark is referencing.

Clark has turned his back on many of the reforms he advocated for as a 3rd Ward alderman. He has often been criticized by many for having a conflict-avoidant leadership style. The administration has ran from intense criticism over a major downtown housing development, the lack of a grocery store,

A former mayoral staff member told the HWH that Clark made the decision to move City Council meetings from Facebook Live to Zoom, which caused an uproar among residents. While Clark said COVID-19 prevented in-person public participation for much of 2022 while City Council was in-person, his office allowed numerous in-person events in Council chambers, namely senior bingo.

While Clark previously expressed an openness to having the Cook County Sheriff’s Office operating as an independent inspector general as recent as 2019, Clark hasn’t ever publicly commented on bringing in independent oversight since he’s been mayor.

He’s been hit hard on public safety. At a February public safety meeting, he boasted investments made in the Harvey Police Department, a 55% homicide reduction rate, and nearly 200 illegal weapons removed from Harvey streets. He proclaimed the city was safer than before.

However, those statements are grossly misleading. Homicides in Harvey still rank highest of any suburban Cook municipality. The police department post crime data on the city’s website, so the total crime picture is unclear since the public doesn’t have access to information about rapes, theft, robberies, and other forms of violence in the city. There have been five police chiefs during his tenure, including interim Chief Cameron Biddings, accused of punching a handcuffed teen in the chest October of 2021 at Thornton Township High School.

Clark caught the ire of Illinois State Senator Napoleon B. Harris III when Clark didn’t show up to a mayoral forum the senator convened. That was the only mayoral forum this season.

Clark is running on a joint ticket with Alderwoman Shirley Drewenski (1st), City Clerk Rosa Arambula, and Clark’s former Deputy Chief of Staff David Clay II, who is running for treasurer. The latter two have each donated at least $4,000 into Clark’s campaign, however, there are no reported contributions from Clark to them, according to an HWH analysis of state campaign finance records.

Weeks before the election, Clark’s campaign team sought the help of Tulchin Research, a pollster that helps candidates gauge public opinion and shape campaign strategy. Last fall, the City Council approved a contract with the Gemini Group to provide public relations, communications, and crisis management help to city officials.

However, most—if not all—of their work has revolved around the mayor. The mayor’s office recently launched the Conversations with Chris Clark YouTube series, which only features the mayor discussing city projects. One social media user entered a public Facebook group page and proclaimed the official City of Harvey Facebook page turned into political propaganda for the mayor.


Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Illinois State Representative Will Davis (30th)

Illinois State Representative Thaddeus Jones (30th)

Anthony McCaskill

McCaskill currently serves as a Harvey Public Library District trustee, serving as chair of the finance committee. He’s also the finance manager and director of human resources next door in Dixmoor and is chairman of the South Suburban Regional Black Chamber of Commerce.

His campaign emphasizes putting more officers on streets, largely focussing his rhetoric on policing in Harvey. He told the HWH that he believed the mayor’s “micromanaging”of the Harvey Police Department was fueling turnover in executive leadership.

According to his campaign pamphlets, he’s also looking to cut wasteful spending, create new tax increment financing districts, rehabbing abandoned homes, and securing neighborhood stabilization grants.

He has boasted that his experience turning around the finances of the Harvey Park District, where he was a commissioner, greatly qualify him for the mayoral seat.

However, Dixmoor residents have consistently complained that village officials keep them in the dark about village finances.

McCaskill’s family is well known for overseeing much of the city’s park district operations. So much so, that some fear a McCaskill administration would bring along friends and family members.

He’s released several campaign materials noting that women will be “represented” in Harvey's government, but hasn’t released a policy platform to detail what that looks like.

And while several social media advertisements use rhetoric that highlight McCaskill’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, he’s known to galavant with social media personalities like Chapelle Hooks, running of the library board, who frequently post bigoted comments on Facebook about Harvey’s Indian residents.

His friendship with other social media personalities who spread misinformation and disinformation like Chris Moore has caught the attention of those who worry Harvey’s public image is already so shot among the area.

Chuck Givines, President of the South Cook Mosquito Abatement, who was alleged to have participated in a hiring scheme there, is on McCaskill’s campaign committee.

McCaskill was the only candidate who showed up to a Harvey mayoral forum hosted by Illinois State Senator Napoleon B. Harris. Campaign finance records show that his campaign is largely supported by south suburban businesses.


Napoleon B. Harris III

The Democrats of Thornton Township

Former Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Marshun Tolbert

Elected as the youngest alderperson ever, Tolbert has served as 2nd Ward alderman since 2019. Just two years prior, Tolbert unsuccessfully ran for the Harvey Public Library District board.

He boasts a vast political network, making much of his money running campaigns across the area. His uncle is Illinois State Representative Will Davis (30th).

Tolbert has a tendency to arrive late to City Council meetings and has faced criticism that he hasn’t been authoritative enough as an alderman to make a mayoral run. Occasionally, he has exchanged words with Mayor Chris Clark during City Council meetings.

After the HWH published a story that alderpersons hadn’t convened committee meetings in nearly four years because there were no meeting minutes to support they had, Tolbert told reporters that City Clerk Rosa Arambula had failed to take meeting minutes.

He also suggested that Clark, who’s close allies with Arambula, was behind the move, which eventually led to alderpersons to stop calling committee meetings altogether.

Tolbert told the HWH that he believes in taking a hands-off approach to public safety and suggested Clark keeps aldermen from speaking with the city’s economic development director, Nicholas Greifer.

Of all the mayoral candidates, he has the least in his campaign chest but received the single largest donation of any candidate—$30,000 from the SEIU Illinois Council PAC, according to an HWH analysis of campaign finance records.


SEIU Illinois Council PAC


Chicago Federation of Labor

Sign up for The Renaissance Letter, our free email newsletter

Get the latest headlines from the Harvey World Herald right in your inbox.

Read past editions

More in Politics from The Harvey World Herald