The dust has cleared on a number of petition challenges, and at this point we are aware of the nine candidates that will be on the ballot for the mayoral election in Chicago that will take place on February 28.
The most notable name on the list is Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has announced her intention to run for reelection. She has attracted a number of opponents to her campaign for this year’s election, including several members of the Chicago City Council and a host of high-profile political names. These opponents have already begun to inundate the airwaves with advertisements seeking to differentiate themselves from the other candidates in the race.
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, Representative Jess “Chuy” Garcia, and Dr. Willie Wilson are just a few of the contenders that want to run again in the hopes of being the next mayor of Chicago.
The first round of voting will take place on February 28th, according to the schedule. In the event that no candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote in that election, the top two candidates will move on to the run-off election, which is set to take place on April 4.
Green is a community activist who is known for his work with the Black Lives Matter movement. He also started a number of community groups, such as the Small Business Repair Program and My Turn to Own. He has also spent a lot of time and energy trying to stop violence in the city.
Ald. Sophia King
King has been a resident of the fourth ward in Chicago for the past three decades and was elected to represent the ward in April of 2016. Her campaign has placed a significant emphasis on education, the city’s response to violent crime, and government openness. Her campaign website includes tabs that are specifically dedicated to each of these issues.
State Rep. Kam Buckner
Buckner spent his childhood years in Roseland and Washington Heights, and his current congressional district includes portions of a number of Chicago neighborhoods, including Bronzeville, Gold Coast, Hyde Park, River North, South Shore, and Woodlawn. In his campaign, he advocates for what he refers to as a “4-Star Plan,” which prioritizes education, economic opportunity, public safety and justice, and the consolidation of the city’s finances.
Dr. Willie Wilson
Wilson, who has a long history of running for government in Chicago and has owned a number of McDonald’s franchises as well as other businesses, is running for the Senate in 2020 in addition to competing for mayor of Chicago in 2015 and 2019. Wilson is running for mayor on a program to “Recover, Restore, and Rebuild” the city. As an example of how he would begin to address problems in the city, Wilson has alluded to his efforts to distribute free fuel and masks to neglected neighborhoods.
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Johnson ran for office after getting strong support from the Chicago Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers. He was a commissioner for Cook County. Johnson lives in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. Before being elected to the Cook County Board, he was a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.
In addition to his role as a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Paul Vallas has competed in a number of statewide elections, including the Democratic primary for governor in 2002 and the contest for governor in 2014 as Pat Quinn’s running mate, both of which he lost. During his time on the campaign trail, Vallas has pointed to his prior experience in the management of large school districts. He has also pledged to make significant alterations to the city’s finances, as well as to address issues pertaining to public safety and to more effectively incorporate parents into the educational system.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot
In 2019, Lightfoot defeated Toni Preckwinkle, the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, to become the new mayor of Chicago, succeeding Rahm Emanuel in the position. She had a number of posts before becoming the Mayor of Chicago, including the presidency of the Chicago Police Board, among other leadership roles.
If she were to be elected to a second term, she has pledged to continue her work toward improving education, policing reform, and the development of neighborhoods, as well as to continue working toward increasing economic opportunities throughout the city.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer
Sawyer comes from a family of political leaders, with his father Eugene serving as mayor of Chicago after the death of Harold Washington. Sawyer himself hails from a family of political leaders. In 2011, he won election to the City Council, and he currently serves as the representative for the 6th Ward, which is located on the city’s Far South Side.
He is currently the chairman of the Black Caucus of the City Council, and he is also a member of a number of other committees, such as the committees for education and child development, as well as the committee for rules and ethics.
Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García
Garca was defeated by Emanuel in a head-to-head runoff during the battle for mayor in 2015, and he won his first election to Congress in 2019. In addition, he has served in the Illinois Senate and on the Board of Commissioners for Cook County. He became well-known in the community for his support of Bernie Sanders in the presidential elections of 2016 and 2020.
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