Toni Preckwinkle

Toni Preckwinkle, Gery Chico to Announce Runs for Mayor This Week: Sources

Undecided voters make up 19 percent of the vote, finishing six points behind Preckwinkle

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is expected to announce a run for mayor of Chicago this week, sources with knowledge of the decision told NBC 5 Monday. 

Preckwinkle is slated to make her announcement Thursday, sources said. 

After Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprise announcement that he would not seek a third term in office, Preckwinkle began circulating nominating petitions, but has not yet formally announced her candidacy. 

In an SEIU poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and released earlier this month, Preckwinkle led the field with 25 percent of the vote. She was previously expected to announce an exploratory committee to run in the February contest. 

“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 at the time. “She is giving serious consideration to running for mayor and will be making an announcement regarding her decision shortly.”

These Are the Candidates Running for Chicago Mayor

Undecided voters check into second place in the poll, with 19 percent of voters saying they are unsure who they will support.

Also Thursday, Chicago lawyer and former mayoral candidate Gery Chico is also expected to announce a run for mayor, a senior adviser to Chico confirmed. Chico raised more than $4.5 million during his previous run for mayor and "can unify the city," a campaign spokesperson said in a statement.

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 included 600 likely voters, with a plus or minus average of 4.9.

Several notable potential candidates, including Cook County Board Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, were not included in the poll.

Most recently, former White House Chief of Staff and Commerce Secretary Bill Daley threw his hat into the ring, marking the first candidate to official announce a run in wake of Emanuel's political bombshell.

Before Emanuel's announcement, there were 12 total candidates seeking to take him on in the February election. After Emanuel bowed out, names of dozens of potential candidates circulated as some began making calls to gauge support, while others publicly announced they would not join the race. 

Longtime Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said last week that he will not enter the race, joining outgoing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, adviser to former President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett and former Gov. Pat Quinn in rejecting calls to run for mayor. 

Rep. Mike Quigley, who is currently running for his sixth full term in Congress, is reportedly polling for the race and told the Chicago Tribune he's thinking about a run but doesn't "feel compelled to rush into a decision." 

State Rep. LaShawn Ford, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers, as well as several alderman, were also rumored to be flirting with a run for mayor.

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