CHICAGO (CBS) — “Run, Chuy, run!” – that is the message from the Latino Leadership Council to U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Illinois) as Chicago’s mayoral race heats up.
Following a meeting Tuesday, the leadership council is calling on the 4th District congressman to throw his hat in the ring before the February 2023 mayoral election.
The council cited limited growth for Latino wards in the city’s recent political remap, and Garcia’s track record for building “broad coalitions” as two of the reasons they believe he is needed in this race.
If Garcia did run, he would almost certainly become the instant favorite to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Garcia ran for mayor in 2015, and forced then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff before losing with 44% of the vote to Emanuel’s 56%.
During a press conference last month where he announced he was endorsing various aldermanic candidates in 2023, Garcia declined to say when he plans to make a decision on a bid for mayor, but acknowledged, “I’ve got to decide soon.”
“I don’t want to pressure myself. I want to be as deliberate and as understanding of all of the issues that are facing the city of Chicago. The public safety challenges, the promise of new endeavors in the area of public safety is pretty exciting, given my background in violence prevention, and intervention, and community building,” he said.
Garcia said last month that he’s reluctant to leave Congress given the growing number of Republican candidates for Congress who have supported former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and have even taken actions to try to overturn the 2020 election results.
“I am conflicted, because of the responsibility that I have to help save and protect our democracy and our republic,” Garcia said last month.
Garcia said he also loves his job as congressman, calling it “exhilarating” to be involved in everything from foreign policy to the national economy, and in particular immigration reform.