Karen Lewis will not be running for mayor of Chicago, officials announced Monday.
Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, coordinator of the Karen Lewis Exploratory Committee said in a statement Monday that Lewis “has decided to not pursue a mayoral bid. Yet she charges us to continue fighting for strong neighborhood schools, safe communities, and good jobs for everyone.”
The news comes after health concerns prompted Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, to have emergency surgery.
The CTU said previously that Lewis has a “serious illness.”
Lewis was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Hospital earlier this month after attending a campaign event.
A source insists Lewis did not suffer a stroke, and while it's not clear what kind of emergency surgery she had, NBC 5 was told it was not heart surgery or related to her weight loss surgery.
"I have always respected and admired Karen's willingness to step up and be part of the conversation about our city's future, but nothing is more important than a person's health," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "Along with all Chicagoans, I will keep Karen and her family in our thoughts and prayers, and we look forward to seeing her on her feet very soon."
The news leaves Ald. Bob Fioretti as Emanuel's biggest competitor.
"Karen and I found common ground on many issues and her participation in this debate would have elevated it," he said Monday.