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Wallace, Johnson mark key endorsements from Illinois elected officials


CHICAGO — After Tuesday night’s public safety debate, Chicago mayoral candidates Paul Wallace and Brandon Johnson had key takeaways Wednesday.

One finalist received the endorsement of one of the state’s top elected officials, while a former mayoral rival endorsed the other.

Brandon Johnson was supported by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. This election season, Raul became the first state elected official to endorse a mayoral candidate. Raul said he discussed both candidates before making his decision.

“After all the conversations, I decided that Brandon is better for Chicago,” Raul said.

To improve safety and end violence in Chicago, Johnson says part of his strategy to reduce crime includes hiring or promoting 200 detectives. Raul expressed confidence that Johnson’s leadership will improve the city’s rate of solving homicides and other violent crimes.

To help officers work more efficiently, Johnson said he will make sure crisis officers are on hand to handle mental health emergencies.

“That’s why I’ve developed a comprehensive public safety plan that calls for more EMS crews, ambulances and mental health response services that can handle the mental health crisis that’s hampering our 911 dispatch,” Johnson said.

Paul Wallace, the former CPS director general who said he would focus on community policing to help end violence, also received new endorsements on Wednesday. Several aldermen in support of Vallas say he is the one to lead the city out of the crime epidemic.

“With Paul Wallace, I know we will have a partner on the fifth floor who is committed to increasing resources for public safety in our community,” Ald said. Nicole Lee (11th Ward).

“Paul is committed to ensuring our police department is adequately staffed and provides officers with the resources they need to do their jobs,” Ald said. Samantha Nugent (39th Ward).

Former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green also supports Vallas.

“I know he cares about this city and he cares about people throughout the city of Chicago,” Green said.

Although the two have had their differences, Wallace believes he and Greene agree on several issues.

“We may have some differences in policing, but we agree when it comes to police accountability (and) when it comes to zero tolerance for the violation of constitutional human rights,” Wallace said.

WGN-TV will host the debate with Brendan Johnson and Paul Wallace next Tuesday, March 21, beginning at 7 p.m.


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