Jesus “Chuy” Garcia received few key endorsements early on in the race for Chicago mayor, but the support he’s garnered ahead of the runoff election has made him an even bigger contender for the April decision.
Initially, Garcia announced his campaign with the support of the Chicago Teachers Union, a major endorsement for the first-time candidate as he prepared to take on the politically-savvy Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The endorsement marked a key start for the Cook County Board Commissioner with education being a major topic of debate in the race.
But once Garcia forced a runoff election, making it clear he was a contender in the race for mayor, the endorsements grew.
Their support could be key in helping Garcia earn the African-American vote both he and Emanuel hope to secure. Both candidates hope to win the 11 percent of the vote businessman Willie Wilson earned in the Feb. 24 race.
As for Wilson, it’s not clear yet who he plans to endorse.
The late burst of support for Garcia is a clear boost for the mayoral challenger after Emanuel secured backing from President Barack Obama and virtually all of Chicago’s major papers.
Had Garcia not received 34 percent of the votes in February, it’s unlikely his campaign would have the continued support it does now. With early polls predicting a small gap between the two pols, the latest endorsements could make a big impact.