Jesus “Chuy” Garcia hasn’t gotten into the Chicago mayoral race yet, but a close associate of the Cook County commissioner has started a political committee to begin raising money for the potential campaign.
The “Chuy for Chicago” committee was created Wednesday with the State Board of Elections “to explore the candidacy of Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia for mayor of the city of Chicago,” according to a statement of organization posted on the board’s website.
The committee’s chairman, Manuel Perez, has been managing Garcia’s campaign for U.S. Congress. He said that while Garcia didn’t oversee the creation of the committee, “he didn’t object to it.”
“We told him we were going to do it,” Perez said. “He has been thinking about (running for mayor), and he’s leaning in that direction.”
By forming the committee, Garcia supporters can make and collect unlimited contributions to a Garcia mayoral campaign, since state caps on how much money individual donors can give have been lifted in that race.
When outgoing U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez announced last week he would not run for mayor, he told reporters he planned to try to draft Garcia into the race by collecting signatures on his behalf to get him on the ballot. Volunteers began circulating petitions for a possible Garcia mayoral bid over the weekend.
Though Gutierrez had previously endorsed Garcia to succeed him in Congress and Garcia is currently running for that seat in the Nov. 6 election, Gutierrez said it was more important for Garcia to be mayor.
Garcia took Mayor Rahm Emanuel to a run-off in 2015 before losing. He was sitting out this mayoral election to instead try to win the congressional seat, but with Emanuel opting not to seek a third term, Garcia is reconsidering.
He’s far from the only one reassessing his chances with the well-financed incumbent out of the way. Bill Daley, a former commerce secretary, onetime White House chief of staff and son and brother of two Chicago mayors, said this week he would run. So did Gery Chico, an attorney and top official in Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration who came in second to Emanuel in the 2011 mayoral election.
And sources close to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle have said she will announce her candidacy Thursday.
A dozen challengers had already announced they would take on Emanuel before he dropped out, including former Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, businessman Willie Wilson and Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, among others.
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September 19, 2018 at 04:24PM