Despite entering the race late, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is hoping his political track record makes him the choice among the city’s progressive and Latino voting base.
It’s not Garcia’s first run for the mayor’s seat, and he mulled the decision for months before jumping into the race, telling reporters in August he “loves” being a member of Congress, but also “care[s] deeply about the city.” Garcia unsuccessfully challenged former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2015, forcing the incumbent to a runoff but losing with only 43.7 percent of the vote. This time around, Garcia has said his campaign is focused on public safety, economic instability, investments in education, environmental sustainability and a concerted effort against the impacts of climate change.
Garcia served as a Chicago alderman in the 22nd Ward from 1986 to 1993 , during which he was an ally of former Mayor Harold Washington. He also served in the Illinois General Assembly and on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. In November, Garcia was reelected to a third term serving as a Democratic Congressman representing Illinois’ 4th District.
His proof of concept as a mayoral candidate? In just under three weeks, Garcia gathered reportedly more than 47,800 signatures to get on the mayoral ballot for the February election. Garcia submitted his petition signatures on the last day of candidate filing to ensure he’d appear last on the ballot.
Garcia is likely to compete for progressive votes against Ald. Sophia King (4), the chair of the City Council Progressive Reform Caucus, state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago), who has backed several pieces of progressive legislation, and Cook County Comm. Brandon Johnson (D-1).
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