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Preckwinkle fires campaign manager over controversial Facebook post

By Craig Wall, ABC 7 News

Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle is feeling the heat after firing her campaign manager for a controversial Facebook post – a move that’s giving her rivals ammunition with just four days until the election.

If the goal of the frontrunners – and Preckwinkle has been one since she joined the race last fall — is to avoid last minute blunders, she got no help from her campaign manager Scott Ciseck. He used a picture of Nazis on trial at Nuremberg to attack Lori Lightfoot on Facebook and it got him fired.

Lightfoot, campaigning in a Metra station Friday, called the post “disturbing.”

“I think it should give voters some pause that the people she has entrusted to be her key lieutenants are now people that have done things that frankly I think are offensive to a lot of people,” Lightfoot said.

Last fall Preckwinkle fired her chief of staff, John Keller, over sexual harassment allegations. Last month negative publicity prompted her to announce she was returning $116,000 from an Ed Burke fundraiser.

At a candidates’ forum at Malcom X College, several of Preckwinkle’s rivals called her judgment into question.

“She surrounds herself by some shady characters and I think it says a lot about who she is and it’s the last type of person we need in the mayor’s office,” said competitor Susana Mendoza.

“We should start calling her ‘Teflon Toni,’ like the Teflon Don in New York years ago where everything just kind of bounced off of him,” Garry McCarthy, another competitor said. “She’s had scandal after scandal after scandal.”

Preckwinkle was unavailable for interviews, but apologized for Cisek’s post in a statement adding, “His recent social media post was unconscionable and showed insensitivity to the issue of anti-Semitism. It does not reflect my values or the values of my campaign.”

“At the end of the day, you have to be responsible for the people who are closest to you,” said competitor Paul Vallas.

All this comes as the candidates head into the final weekend of campaigning, and at a time when many voters are still trying to make up their minds.

This article originally appeared in ABC 7 News.

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