After Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprise announcement that he would not seek a third term in office, Chicago residents are beginning to choose their candidates to replace him.
In a brand new SEIU poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle leads the field with 25 percent of the vote. Preckwinkle is expected to announce Monday that she will form an exploratory committee to run in the February contest.
Despite her advantage, Preckwinkle would still need a run-off in the race, according to the poll, as a candidate has to earn at least 50 percent of the vote to win the election outright in February.
“Chicagoans know that no one has worked more effectively than Toni Preckwinkle to strengthen access to affordable healthcare, confront gun violence as a public health crisis and reform our criminal justice system,” Preckwinkle’s political director Scott Kastrup told NBC 5. “She is giving serious consideration to running for mayor and will be making an announcement regarding her decision shortly.”
Undecided voters check into second place in the poll, with 19 percent of voters saying they are unsure as to whom they will support.
Paul Vallas is in third at 16 percent, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is in fourth at 13 percent, and businessman Willie Wilson is in fifth with 10 percent of the vote.
The poll spoke to 600 likely voters, with a plus or minus average of 4.9.
Several notable potential candidates, including Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Cook County Board Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, were not included in the poll.