US Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia running for mayor of Chicago

Nov 10, 2022, 9:09 AM | Updated: 4:18 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Days after he easily won reelection to Congress, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia announced on Thursday that he will join an already crowded field of candidates hoping to unseat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot as she runs for a second term.

Garcia has for years made known his desire to lead Chicago and he ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2015 in the city’s first runoff election. He instantly becomes one of the leading contenders in the 2023 race thanks to his popularity as a congressman and a history that includes time as an alderman on the City Council and as a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

If elected, the 66-year-old Garcia, a native of Mexico who arrived in Chicago when he was 9 years old, would become the first Latino mayor of the nation’s third largest city.

Garcia was first elected to Congress in 2018 to represent Illinois’ 4th Congressional District, which covers Chicago’s Southwest and Northwest sides and includes parts of some western suburbs. He takes on a mayor whom he helped get elected when he endorsed her in a runoff against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

In a video announcing his candidacy, Garcia sounded a theme similar to already-declared candidates who have described Lightfoot as a divisive figure who has alienated some members of the City Council and others since she was elected in 2019. Without naming Lightfoot, Garcia said Chicago “needs a mayor that will bring us together and unite us instead of driving us apart.”

“Folks know me. … They know what I’ve done. I know we will eventually get their support,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “No one in Chicago politics today has been involved in fighting the old corrupt and racist and sexist Chicago Machine (longer) than myself.”

And when he met with the media on Thursday to make his official announcement, he portrayed himself as the candidate who can tackle some of the city’s most pressing problems.

“Now is the time to revitalize our neighborhoods, strengthen our schools and bring safety back to our streets because we believe in a Chicago for everyone, a welcoming Chicago, the same Chicago that welcomed me as a 9-year old immigrant boy and gave me a fighting chance to dream big,” Garcia said.

While acknowledging Garcia’s promise to run for mayor only if Republicans win a majority in the House of Representatives, Lightfoot’s campaign still characterized the decision as a selfish move by a “career politician.” The GOP was inching closer to a narrow House majority Thursday.

“As Republicans prepare to use their new slim majority to strip away our rights, Mr. Garcia is abandoning ship and going after a fellow progressive Democrat,” the Chicago Tribune quoted the campaign as saying.

Garcia joins a field that includes, among others, City Council members Sophia King, Raymond Lopez and Roderick Sawyer; Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, and State Rep. Kam Buckner. Also running are former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, community activist Ja’Mal Green and Willie Wilson, a wealthy businessman. A two-time mayoral candidate who has also run for U.S. Senate, Wilson is perhaps best known for giving away millions of dollars to people to help pay their taxes and, most recently, buy gasoline.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., listens to a question during a news conference, March 30, 2022, in W...

Associated Press

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees, clearing way for hundreds to be approved

Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced Tuesday that he's ending his blockade of hundreds of military promotions, following heavy criticism.

6 hours ago

An employee works inside the Hanwha Qcells Solar plant on Oct. 16, 2023, in Dalton, Ga. On Tuesday,...

Associated Press

US job openings fall to lowest level since March 2021 as labor market cools

U.S. employers posted 8.7 million job openings in October, the fewest since March 2021, in a sign that hiring is cooling.

7 hours ago

Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Dec. 7,...

Associated Press

The fourth GOP debate will be a key moment for the young NewsNation cable network

By airing the fourth Republican presidential debate, NewsNation network will almost certainly reach the largest audience in its history.

8 hours ago

Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

5 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

5 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

US Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia running for mayor of Chicago