Back in June 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen issued a complimentary statement about John Marek, his longtime associate and former campaign manager, who had declared his candidacy for the City Council in District 5.
Cohen’s statement was construed in some, perhaps most quarters as being an endorsement of the 32-year-old activist and lawyer. But when, days later, the congressman was asked point-black for a clarification on the point, he was ambivalent.
“I may do something close to the [July 16] filing deadline,” Cohen said at the time, “but I’m not endorsing as of yet.” As he went on to note, “I have other friends in that race, too.” The “other friends” were Charles “Chooch” Pickard and, especially, Mary Wilder — both, like Marek, with legitimate claims on the support of the city’s progressive community, and advocates for whom were even then seriously buttonholding the congressman. Cohen even gave a hat tip toward a relative conservative. “Dan Springer’s not bad, either,” the congressman said.
It did seem that Cohen had conferred special favor on Marek, but the filing deadline came and went without an outright endorsement, though rumors kept coming from sources close to both Marek and Cohen that one was coming.
Well, it’s come. At a fundraiser for Marek at the Just for Lunch restaurant on Poplar on Tuesday, the Congressman cast ambivalence aside.
Introducing Marek at the function, Cohen declared, “John will make an outstanding City Councilman…. He reminds me a lot of myself…when I was on the County Commission…coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things on the County Commission, and John will do the same thing. We need people new ideas and energy and values on the City Council, and that’s what John is.”
The statement did not include any variant of the word “endorse” per se, but its import was clear enough. And Marek wasted little time getting the news out via email and video.