March 20, 2024

Tuesday at Manny’s Deli Remains a Tradition for Candidates

By Laaiba Mahmood

raskin photoCity Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin greets Dan Raskin, fourth-generation
owner of Manny’s Deli, after her meal. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)

Candidates stopped by Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen Tuesday, continuing a decades-long tradition of having lunch, shaking hands and taking photos with patrons on Election Day.

Opened in 1942 by two Russian Jewish immigrant brothers, the deli is known for its corned beef and pastrami sandwiches and array of other dishes.

Top politicians —- including the Daley Family and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton -— have included a stop at Manny’s in their election day itinerary.

Ahead of Election Day, Manny’s Deli tweeted: “We have always stayed neutral. Anyone and everyone, whether running for public office or not, is always welcome at Manny’s. See you all tomorrow.”

Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President and Cook County Democratic Party Chair, did not make a stop at Manny’s, instead going to Valois in Hyde Park.

Despite Preckwinkle’s absence, Dan Raskin, 4th-generation owner of Manny’s Deli, was pleased to see many candidates and officials make their Election Day stop at the restaurant.

“There have been a lot of the candidates in, on both sides, a lot of them here at the same time which is always really exciting,” Raskin said. “A lot of times you hear the bad things about politics but when you see everyone in here having fun and campaigning and celebrating their hard work, it’s a great feeling.”

Ron Maydon, who used to be active in Chicago political campaigns, had lunch at Manny’s on Tuesday to catch candidates in between their busy schedules.

“I can’t tell you how long this tradition has been going on,” Maydon said. “I come because I know some of the candidates. With their schedule being so busy sometimes it’s hard to connect with them, but I know they’ll be at Manny’s on Election Day.”

Cynthia Robles, a regular Manny’s patron, joined Maydon to see the Election Day tradition for herself.

“This is my first time and it’s such a convenience to come here and just watch and engage,” Robles said. “I’ll be back.”

Clayton Harris, Democratic candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney, was at Manny’s before noon but later joined Preckwinkle at Valois.

“It was important to stop here, to see everybody, and after this stop we’re heading to the South Side and trying to engage as many voters as possible,” Harris said.

Eileen O’Neill Burke, who holds the lead in the Cook County State’s Attorney race, commented on those skipping out on the Manny’s tradition.

“I don’t know anybody who would pass on Manny’s on Election Day so I feel bad for anybody who’s not here today,” O’Neill Burke said.

Bob Fioretti, who later became the Republican nominee for Cook County State’s Attorney, also had a meal at Manny’s after greeting people around the room.

Staff for the Democratic National Convention set up tables to recruit volunteers for the convention, which will be held in Chicago this August.

Raskin credits the continuance of the tradition to creating an environment where all candidates and diners are welcome.

“I guess the tradition means that we’re still doing something right,” Raskin said. “We still provide a great atmosphere that everybody feels comfortable in and I hope the tradition continues.”



Fioretti photo
Bob Fioretti chatting with supporters over a cherry pie. Fioretti ran uncontested
for the Republican nomination for Cook County State’s Attorney. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)

Martinez photo
Cook County Circuit Court Clerk candidate Iris Martinez said, “Now I gotta walk
this off.” after lunch and greets remaining patrons before leaving. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)

Harris III photo
Cook County State’s Attorney candidate Clayton Harris III made a quick stop by Manny’s before
heading out to Valois for Toni Preckwinkle’s gathering. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)

lunch line photo
The cafeteria line at Manny’s Deli filled with candidates and
supporters waiting to get a bite. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)

Burke photo
Eileen O’Neill Burke thanks supporters for taking the time to come out to Manny’s Deli. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)


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