Meet the Candidates for Mayor of Chicago
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday morning that he will no longer seek a third term in office. His decision marks a dramatic political reversal, as the prolific fundraiser had already reeled in more than $10 million toward a bid for a third term. Here’s a look at some of the candidates eager to take his place. Lori Lightfoot, a former President of the Chicago Police Board, is one of the more prominent candidates in the race. The 55-year-old, openly gay candidate has the potential to emerge as a frontrunner provided she can raise enough money to communicate a compelling story of political independence that remains unknown to many Chicagoans. The University of Michigan graduate, who completed law school at the University of Chicago, knows her way around City Hall as she is a former appointee of Mayor Richard Daley. She was tapped to serve as Chief Administrator of the Office of Professional Standards, now known as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Businessman Willie Wilson, who has owned and operated several different McDonald's restaurant franchises and owns a medical supplies company, is also in the race. This is his second go at the Mayor’s office; he ran unsuccessfully in 2015 placing third in a five-person race. The 70-year-old also produces the nationally syndicated gospel music television program, Singsation. He has recently been handing out cash to churchgoers and was cleared last month of accusations that these giveaways violated campaign finance law. Community activist Ja’Mal Greenannounced plans to run for Mayor of Chicago earlier this year. The 23-year-old South Side native regularly speaks out against police shootings and is currently raising money to build a new youth center. Circuit Court of Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown is also among the crowded field. The 64-year-old Southern University grad went on to received her MBA from DePaul University and in 1996 graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She ran unsuccessfully for Mayor in 2007. The head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and longtime Rahm Emanuel critic Troy LaRaviere got in the race in May. Entrepreneur and educator Neal Sáles-Griffin, who is the CEO of CodeNow -- a nonprofit that teaches coding to low-income high school students -- is also running. The 31-year-old Northwestern University grad turned down an opportunity to join the technology team for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign so he could work on the idea for a coding boot camp. And Dr. Amara Enyia, the Executive Director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, formally announced her candidacy for Mayor last month. The 35-year-old policy consultant -- whose parents emigrated from Nigeria -- earned her Master's, JD, and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Other candidates include former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, attorney John Kozlar, and pharmaceutical technician and DePaul student Matthew Roney. Other potential candidates include Ald. Roderick Sawyer, Chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus. “I’m talking to someone this afternoon just to talk it through,” Sawyer said. “I would be lying to you if I said I was not interested.” Ald. Ameya Pawar said on Tuesday that he’s also considering running. More on Emmanuel’s decision here.