Burke, who is arguably the city's most powerful council member, had talking about possibly making a run for the office. But in an open letter to the residents of his ward, he said he instead plans to run for re-election to the city council.
He's currently the chairman of the Finance Committee. Remaining there could be problematic for any mayor wanting to significantly change how the city is run," historian James L. Merriner predicted this week.
Text of Burke's letter:
- Although some compare being Mayor to winning the "Super Bowl of Chicago politics," I believe that serving you and all the remarkable people of the 14th Ward is the ultimate political achievement.
Over the years, I have been humbled by your support and your love and commitment to this ward, which we call our home, our neighborhood, and our community. I want to continue to join you in making our neighborhoods great. And I am, therefore, informing you of my intention to seek re-election as Alderman and not seek the Office of Mayor.
The community and the people I serve have always been my highest priority and will remain so.
As your Alderman, I have taken great satisfaction in being able to make a difference on a local level and see the immediate impact it has made on your life. City services affect the street where you live and the business district where you shop, and I have worked diligently to effectively use "ward menu" funds to improve the ward's infrastructure. We have repaved streets, installed new sidewalks, built state-of-the-art schools and created other basic improvements to breathe new life into our neighborhoods.
However, serious challenges lie ahead in keeping our local economy strong and our communities and children safe. That is why I strongly believe that the Alderman who serves you, needs experience, leadership, and a clear understanding of city government. I hope that you agree and will support me as I seek re-election to continue to serve you as your Alderman.