It was among the worst-kept secrets in Chicago politics, but Susana Mendoza's announcement that she will run for mayor has gotten a reaction from city officials and political contenders alike.
"I think it's great," Ald. Proco Joe Moreno said. "I think she brings energy. She would be the first Generation X, and I think that kind of attitude and entrepreneurial spirit and the energy she has will be needed."
"It's outrageous to me that Susana Mendoza, barely eight days after being elected to a statewide position, has disrespected her constituents," Garry McCarthy, a fellow candidate for mayor, said, "the people voted for her and trusted her."
Mendoza’s ambitions first became public when a commercial for her mayoral campaign was leaked prior to the November elections. She made the official announcement just eight days after winning the Illinois Comptroller’s race.
"A Mayor Mendoza is going to be really focused on investing in the neighborhoods," she told NBC 5 on Wednesday, hours after a video was released to announce her candidacy.
She said her downstage experience will help her on the 5th floor of City Hall.
"This might be the only opportunity, it's really the first that we have ever had perhaps, to have a mayor of Chicago who actually understands and loves the rest of the state," Mendoza said. "And I think it would be good to have a mayor who understands how to navigate Springfield."
Still, as the City Council took up Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s final budget, aldermen are taking a wait-and-see approach to Mendoza’s candidacy.
"We need somebody who is going to assure us of the things that we need to do in this city," Ald. Walter Burnett said. "So we are still keeping our powder dry, waiting to see what polls say and how people feel."
"Susie is a sprinter. She goes from office to office to office," Ald. Ricardo Munoz said.
Emanuel also is reserving any endorsements but remains hopeful about Chicago’s future.
"My successor, I am hoping will make their case of what their energy, which is how they get up every morning, why they get up, why they want to come in and take on this job," Emanuel said. "They will make their case for what their North Star is."
Mendoza becomes the 18th person to announce as a candidate for the mayor's job and the third of Hispanic descent to do so.
The election, on Feb. 26, is 104 days away.