The Chicago mayoral race is slowly beginning to take shape, with two key contenders coming to opposing conclusions on Thursday.
Current Mayor Lori Lightfoot has not officially announced her candidacy for the position, but she told the Chicago Sun-Times that she does plan to run for a second term after defeating Toni Preckwinkle for the job in the last election.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Quigley announced on Thursday that he does not intend to run in 2023, and will instead continue serving in Congress.
Here is what we know about the race so far:
Officially Running –
Ald. Raymond Lopez
Lopez officially launched his candidacy for the mayoral race on April 7, calling the city a “rudderless ship” in need of new leadership.
“The time is now to provide our great city with the compassion and leadership it deserves. I’m in, and I hope Chicago will join me,” he said in a statement.
Dr. Willie Wilson
For the third time, businessman and philanthropist Dr. Willie Wilson will throw his hat into the ring and run for the job of mayor.
He says he will bring some big changes to the city if elected, including hiring several police superintendents to deal with violent crime and eliminating the city’s COVID vaccine mandate for employees.
“You’ve got to talk to people. You’ve got to communicate,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times in criticizing Lightfoot’s leadership style. “There’s no communication (with Lightfoot) unless it’s negative. If it doesn’t go her way, she takes it personally.”
Expected to Run –
Mayor Lori Lightfoot
While the mayor has not formally announced that she will run for reelection, she has been raising funds to do so and told the Chicago Sun-Times that she will seek a second term in office.
“I’m giving you every indication of what the future is going to hold,” she told the newspaper. “The question is just formally announcing it. And we will do that soon.”
Possibly Running –
FOP President John Catanzara
After he retired from his job as a Chicago police officer rather than allowing a police board to potentially fire him, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said that he would run for mayor, but has not officially filed to do so.
“I’m officially running for mayor. Lightfoot has got to go. It’s gotta happen,” he said in Nov. 2021.
VP of CTU Stacy Davis Gates
Davis Gates, currently the vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, is expected to run for president of that union with Jesse Sharkey departing the position, but could potentially mull a run for mayor as well, according to reports.
CTU President Jesse Sharkey
Sharkey, who has sparred with Lightfoot on a variety of fronts, will not seek reelection to his role as president of the teachers’ union, but hasn’t said whether he’ll challenge Lightfoot in the mayoral race.
“I’m going to be involved in the city’s politics, in general and the union in particular,” he said when asked in Feb. 2022.
Not Running –
Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
In early March, Arne Duncan announced that he would not run for mayor of Chicago, and would instead focus his efforts on working with his non-profit organization.
“The best way I can serve our city is to stay laser-focused on reducing gun violence and stay engaged at our sites, on the streets and in the lives of our participants,” he said.
Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia
While he hasn’t officially ruled himself out yet, there aren’t any current indications that former mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia would run for the position.
“I am not thinking about that whatsoever, and I surely haven’t talked to my wife about it,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’ve got to think that she’d be very reluctant for us to do it, and we do everything together. It’s not on my radar right now.”
Garcia lost to former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2015 election.
Rep. Mike Quigley
Quigley was the latest candidate to bow out of the race, saying that he is too focused on his work in Congress to consider jumping into the electoral fracas.
“After much consideration, I simply cannot walk away from my duty to safeguard democracy, fight for American values abroad, and stand up for the brave Ukrainian people in their time of maximum peril,” he said in a statement. “Campaigning to serve as mayor of Chicago would not allow me to fulfill this critical obligation.”