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U.S. Rep. “Chewy” Garcia is making moves to run for Chicago mayor

U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chewy” Garcia took two key steps toward announcing a campaign for Chicago mayor this week, amending his campaign committee to support a mayoral run and filing an economic disclosure statement as he continues to consider a mayoral challenge Laurie Lightfoot.

The moves come after Garcia conducted a poll that showed him ahead of Lightfoot, whose candidacy he endorsed in 2019.

If Garcia enters the race, his high profile name and long record as a progressive could create significant obstacles for other candidates, but it is unclear whether all the progressive unions that supported him for mayor in 2015 will support him, compared to other candidates. . Garcia also had to find ways to appeal to black voters.

The powerful Chicago teachers union has already endorsed Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.

For months, Garcia has openly flirted with running for mayor again after edging Rahm Emanuel in the city’s first runoff in 2015. Garcia has now filed paperwork with the campaign committee with amendments so he can legally fundraise for City Hall, and there are volunteers gathering signatures to get him on the ballot.

Since winning his congressional seat in 2018, Garcia has extended his political power far beyond his base on the Southwest Side. The longtime progressive has shown a hands-on side in recent years, forging close ties with now-impeached former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, helping to expand Garcia’s influence, and his endorsement has been sought by candidates across the city.

Garcia considered running for mayor in 2019, but ultimately decided to drop the bid. He helped Lightfoot become mayor that year by backing her in a runoff against Cook County Council President Toni Preckwinkle, on whose leadership team he served while on the county council.

Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney is also weighing in on the bid.

In addition to Johnson, the race includes Lightfoot, Ald. Sophia King, Activist Ja’Mal Green, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, Former CPS Superintendent Paul Wallace, State Rep. Cambium “Kam” Buckner, Ald. Raymond Lopez and businessman Willie Wilson.


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