Willie Wilson - 2023 Mayoral Candidate
Businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson is making his latest run for elected office, his third bid for Chicago mayor. In 2019, Wilson ran in the crowded mayoral election and finished in fourth place out of 14 candidates with 10.6 percent of the vote. Wilson finished in third place in his mayoral run in 2015, also with about 10.7 percent of the vote share.
His political history also includes campaigns for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 and a U.S. Senate run in 2020.
Wilson, the son of a Louisiana sharecropper, owned five McDonald’s franchises, started a medical supply company and produced the Emmy-winning national gospel TV show “Singsation.” According to a 2015 Sun-Times profile , “By [Wilson’s] own estimate, he gives away up to $1 million a year to churches and charities.” Wilson seeded his campaign this election cycle with $5 million of his own money.
Earlier this year, Wilson launched a series of gas and grocery giveaways, actions he said were aimed at mitigating the effects of high inflation on vulnerable populations. Though he endorsed Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the 2019 runoff, he has said Lightfoot hasn’t fostered any sort of professional relationship with him while in office.
Wilson has pointed to an increase in crime, unchecked mental health issues, lingering economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic as issues he’d be best suited to tackle as the city’s top executive. He supports lowering taxes, eliminating red light cameras and reforming parking meters.
Do you like this page?