The Chicago mayoral race will have a new entrant on Monday, as former White House Chief of Staff and Commerce Secretary William Daley will announce his candidacy.
In an interview, Daley described his run as the “opportunity of a lifetime” and said he’s excited for the challenge.
“I’m excited about it, (and) it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to be frank with you,” he said. “I’ve lived my entire life in Chicago, my kids live in Chicago, (and) my grandkids live in Chicago, so we have a real love affair with this city, and we’ve been fortunate and the people of Chicago have been good to us.”
Daley’s father Richard J. Daley served as mayor of the city for 21 years, and his brother Richard M. Daley served five and a half terms before stepping aside in 2011.
Some political experts have pointed to the Daley legacy as either a strength or a hindrance to his candidacy, but the freshly minted candidate is hopeful that voters will give him a chance to prove that he is just as capable of running the city as his famous family members.
“I’m going before the voters and they’ll decide,” he said. “My brother and my father were fortunate, the voters thought they did a good job and voted for them, but I have to prove to the people of Chicago that I can lead this city for them, and they’ll make that judgment.”
There are plenty of candidates looking to deny Daley that chance, as a staggering 14 people have already declared their candidacy for the job, and others, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, could still jump into the race.
Daley says that he is currently organizing a campaign staff for his run toward the February election, and that he will have his petitions circulating by Tuesday.