February 7, 2019
Chicago’s Mayoral Election: Race to a Runoff? – Greg Hinz, Bill Ruthhart, Fran Spielman – moderated by Brandis Friedman
Brandis Friedman is a Correspondent for Chicago Tonight, on Chicago’s PBS affiliate, WTTW Channel 11. Her reporting on education and criminal justice issues has appeared on PBS’ NewsHour and NPR’s The Takeaway. Before joining Chicago Tonight, Brandis worked as a reporter and anchor for WBBM Newsradio 780, and as a producer/reporter for WJLA-TV/ABC-7 in Washington, DC. In addition to earning three regional Emmy Awards for her work in DC, she’s earned a Peter Lisagor Award, recognizing excellence in journalism, from the Chicago Headline Club. Originally from Mississippi, her work has taken her to numerous cities including Kansas City, Missouri, Little Rock, Arkansas and Wichita Falls, Texas. She currently serves on the board of the Chicago Headline Club, which is the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and is a member of the Education Writers Association. Brandis is a graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, where she earned a degree in Mass Communications, and Columbia University in New York City, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Journalism. Brandis lives in Evanston with her husband and son.
Greg Hinz is a Crain’s Chicago Business blogger and columnist on politics and government in Chicago and the nation. A prize-winning reporter, he also writes frequently on public policy issues such as education, transportation, and economic development. Hinz joined Crain’s in 1996, after four years as Political Editor of Chicago magazine and nearly two decades as Political Editor and columnist with the Lerner Newspapers chain. His work has been honored by the Society of Business Editors and Writers and the Chicago Headline Club, among other professional organizations. Hinz is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 1980, he took a brief leave of absence from journalism to serve as Press Secretary for the Carter/Mondale campaign in Illinois.
Bill Ruthhart is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who covers Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago City Hall. Before starting that beat in 2013, Ruthhart covered the state’s troubled child welfare system, gambling expansion and other government issues as a watchdog reporter. Prior to joining the Tribune in 2010, Ruthhart spent the previous eight years writing for The Indianapolis Star, most of it covering the Indiana statehouse and governor’s office, as well as the 2008 presidential campaign. Ruthhart is a native of Rock Island, Ill., a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives on Chicago’s North Side.
Fran Spielman has been covering and analyzing Chicago mayors and city government since Richard J. Daley. Her City Hall beats have included Mayors Michael Bilandic, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, Richard M. Daley, and Rahm Emanuel.
Spielman joined the Sun-Times in 1985 after ten years at Chicago radio station WIND. When owner Westinghouse Broadcasting sold the station, she saw the opportunity to pursue her primary journalistic goal to work for a major newspaper. She had started at WIND right out of Northwestern University—as a sports reporter, morning news producer, then full-time reporter—after covering football, basketball, and tennis for the Daily Northwestern. During her decade in radio, Spielman freelanced for the Chicago Daily News, at Crain’s Chicago Business, for “The Chicago Bear Report”, and as a principal anchor and reporter of Channel 11’s Emmy Award winning sports show, “Time Out”. Spielman is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame, and in 2009, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Headline Club. A decade earlier, Spielman received the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.