Might there be 18?
NBC 5 has learned Michael Sacks, a top donor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is conducting a poll and more seriously considering entering the already crowded race for Chicago mayor.
Sacks is chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor, as well as a behind-the-scenes, top unpaid aide to Emanuel in Springfield and Chicago.
In August it was revealed that Sacks bankrolled a separate poll, which was touted as one that showed Emanuel poised to win a third term. Weeks later Emanuel announced he would not run for re-election.
In May, Sacks hired former labor leader Jorge Ramirez to join his GCM Grosvenor firm. Matt Hynes, who had been Emanuel’s chief lobbyist at the state capitol, was already on the Grosvenor payroll.
State Comptroller Susana Mendoza is also expected to join the field, but she is waiting until after the statewide election to make it official.
Chicago election officials noted this will be only the third time in 80 years that an incumbent mayor is not on the Chicago ballot.
Those interested in running for mayor will begin submitting their petitions and 12,500 needed signatures—of registered Chicago voters, who have not signed another petition -- on Monday November 26.