Mayoral Candidate Paul Vallas calls Ja’Mal Green’s bluff: Meets him for Harold’s Chicken

By Andre Earls
Medill Reports

His father was a past owner of a Kentucky Fried Chicken store in the city, but that didn’t stop Chicago Mayoral Candidate Paul Vallas from meeting up with former Chicago mayoral candidate – and newly-minted political moderator – Ja’Mal Green at Harold’s Chicken for a cultural encounter.

Green couldn’t believe the candidate hadn’t been to Harold’s. Vallas took the challenge to eat there after a candidate forum hosted by Green and NBC Chicago Reporter Mary Ann Ahern exposed his lack of culture. Vallas was ultimately coerced into putting his money – or Harold’s – where his mouth was.

Vallas’ camp set the date this past weekend for Monday, as if to call Green’s bluff.  Green obliged, as expected. With the day in place, the only thing left to do was set a time. I didn’t mind doing the heavy lifting:

As Green promised, he waited for Vallas and his entourage of volunteers to arrive at Harold’s store #55 off of 87th St. on the South Side. Green chided Vallas over his family’s poultry preferences for Kentucky Fried.

Whether its age, race, or political ideology, Vallas and Green differ on many issues.  But just by judging them from of their limited culinary interactions at Harold’s, you wouldn’t be able to tell. They laughed and joked with each other as if they were old pals reconnecting, and their comradery lit up the room.

While Green has made no official endorsement for mayor, Vallas’ rush to be the first person to meet with him post-forum has to be a good sign. Days earlier, Green went back and forth with independent hip-hop artist and Amara Enyia surrogate Chance the Rapper over his lack of endorsement of Enyia, citing that there were candidates in the race with “better character and vision needed to lead this city.” The thread itself gets particularly juicy:

Many have to wonder, is Vallas the high-character candidate that Green had in mind?


Photo at top: Mayoral Candidate Paul Vallas takes a bite! (Andre Earls/MEDILL)