Karen Lewis Still Lamenting She Can't Run for Mayor

Chicago Teachers Union president abandoned bid for mayor's office after October cancer diagnosis

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis on Thursday said she's disappointed that a medical issue sidelined her hopes to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the upcoming mayor election.

"I really wanted to do this. I mean, it was something that I thought about, that I had worked it out with my family," she said in her first public comments since surgery for brain cancer late last year. "Yeah, it's very disappointing."

In her remarks at the Kroc Center for a fourth annual breakfast to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis spoke of "good days and not-so-good days," but added "I don't really have bad days" in battling the disease. She returned to work on a part-time basis in December.

The 61-year-old said she's been keeping busy making phone calls in support of Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, whom she first endorsed in October.

"I hope it'll make a difference," she said. "I mean, we need a change. I've been saying that for some time, and it couldn't be me."

She also said she's "not surprised" by Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent appointment of Rev. James Meeks as chairman of the Board of Education.

"Rev. Meeks has said things that Gov. Rauner has pushed for years," Lewis said.

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