It just goes to show, you’re never too old…to enter politics, that is.
An 87-year-old Roseland, Illinois resident is among the 21 people who filed nominating petitions to run for mayor of Chicago and she’s serious about it.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, Conrien Hykes Clark, who asks everyone at the Haines Elementary School where she volunteers four days a week to call her “Grandma Clark,” believes she could do some good as Chi-Town’s next mayor.
“It really wasn’t my call. It was God’s call,” Clark told the Chicago Sun Times. “He kept calling me and pulling my toes. I couldn’t sleep.”
Clark lives alone with her tabby cat Gold Dust in a house owned by her niece. In the front window of the home she’s placed a poster of the 10 commandments alongside her handmade campaign sign.
Just another one to shake up the votes: https://t.co/ynXFOFfY68
— kikemintheshins (@kikemintheshins) December 3, 2018
Grandma Clark’s campaign motto “Running for Jesus” is also a nod to the deep faith that led the Mississippi native to become a mayoral candidate in the first place.
She also admits that the growing violence in her community has kept her up at night as well.
“Something happened on the South Side, and I was laying there crying,” she explained. “And all the peoples running for the mayor, and a voice just said: ‘Why don’t you run?’ I thought it was just me, but it worked out that it was the Lord.”
Mayoral candidates are supposed to submit 12,500 signatures of registered Chicago voters and many of the more serious candidates will often submit twice as many signatures. Clark admits she didn’t count her signatures, according to public records she only submitted six petition sheets, which means she most likely only submitted about 100 signatures total.
“I turned in what I had,” she concedes. “It wasn’t no lots of them [sic], but I started this mission, and I wanted to keep it going.”
The charismatic senior, who brings smiles to the faces of the second- and third-graders at Haines Elementary, also admits that her family very lovingly tried to discourage her from running for office.
“I really don’t know how to be no mayor [sic],” she said. But given how many politicians with now experience are being elected, she believes she’s as teachable as anyone else.
— Joanna Klonsky (@joannaklonsky) November 25, 2018