Former Bear Steve McMichael files to run for mayor of Romeoville
ROMEOVILLE — Former Chicago Bear Steve McMichael, a member of the 1985 Super Bowl champions, made his run for Romeoville mayor official Wednesday when he filed the petitions needed to become a candidate.
McMichael and former Mayor Fred Dewald will challenge incumbent John Noak in the April 9 election.
The threesome should offer an interesting mix of candidates. McMichael, who remains a sports radio personality in Chicago, adds celebrity appeal to the campaign. Dewald will try to regain the seat he resigned in 2008, just months after pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge. Noak, a village trustee at the time of Dewald’s resignation, was then appointed the new mayor and has won re-election once.
Showing he’s not depending on his name alone in the April election, McMichael filed his petitions at village hall with his campaign chairwoman — Gail Raucci, who ran unsuccessfully for Romeoville mayor against Noak in 2009.
“I’ve always relied on the counsel of the people who have been there before me,” McMichael said.
McMichael began renting a condominium in Romeoville in April, giving him the one-year residency required to run in the April 2013 election. He has been a presence in Romeoville for two years since Mongo McMichael’s Sports Bar opened on Route 53.
The bar could become an issue in the campaign since the Romeoville mayor also serves as liquor commissioner and regulates liquor license holders.
McMichael, however, said he has no ownership in the bar and derives no income from the business. He said he let friends use his name to open the restaurant and only enjoys free food and drinks while there. But he said he would appoint someone else to be liquor commissioner if the public demanded it.
“If that’s what the people in this town want me to do, I’m fine with it,” he said.
Noak, meanwhile, issued a statement Tuesday about his candidacy that emphasized his experience and listed eight accomplishments during his time as mayor, including property tax rebates, business growth, and future development of a Metra station in Romeoville.
“I’m looking forward to earning the votes of Romeoville residents by talking about that record and sharing a vision for our hometown that will continue to raise our quality of life and increase economic opportunities for all,” Noak said in the statement.
Noak is running on a United Party slate that includes Village Clerk Bernice Holloway and three trustee candidates. McMichael, meanwhile, said he will emphasize his independent status in his campaign.
McMichael, known by the nickname “Mongo,” played in the National Football League from 1980 to 1994, including a stint with the Bears from 1981 to 1993. He also spent a season each with the New England Patriots (1980) and Green Bay Packers (1994).
He made the Pro Bowl in 1986 and 1987, and was a starting defensive tackle on the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX in January 1986.