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Pictured: House Rep. Chuy García
After scoring a reelection, Rep. García says he will have a go at a mayoral run. Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Chicago’s Jesús ‘Chuy’ García eyes mayoral race, joins few dozen candidates in the field

Chuy García, a Congressman, announced his candidacy for mayor on Thursday.

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U.S. House Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García joins a very crowded field of mayoral hopefuls in Chicago following his announcement to join the race on Thursday, Nov. 10 after serving two terms in his current capacity. 

García was reelected to serve his third, short-lived term, cut short by his recent announcement at Chicago’s Navy Pier. 

“In Chicago, you know you’re part of something big. We live in the city of broad shoulders. But today, from crime to unemployment to affordable housing, there’s uncertainty ahead,” García said in an announcement video, posted on Twitter. 

Also in his announcement video, García brings forth his upbringing, the son of laborers who moved from Mexico when he was nine years old, and how his life was inextricably shaped by his experience as a Latino in Chicago. 

“The same Chicago that welcomed me as a nine-year-old immigrant boy, and gave me a chance to dream big,” García said and recalled the late Mayor Harold Washington, a Democrat, who announced a run for office 40 years prior. 

The re-elected rep joins a very crowded field of candidates vying for Chicago mayor, but a political analyst for ABC7 told the outlet “it’s a win-win for him.”

"Garcia has a very safe seat. He will remain popular. He'll be a little bit dented if he loses, but people won't blame him for trying, so this is a win-win for him. Why not run and see where it takes him?" the analyst continued.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, García fashions himself as the candidate to bring together the progressive movement.

“Folks know me. … They know what I’ve done. I know we will eventually get their support. I’m the only guy left from the Harold Washington coalition. ... No one in Chicago politics today has been involved in fighting the old corrupt and racist and sexist Chicago Machine [longer] than myself,” García, 66, said. 

García, who endorsed current Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, said he gave her “a chance to deliver on promises she made as it relates to reform and she has not delivered.”

Much of the reformed sentiment was present throughout the topic of Lightfoot, whose endorsement from García was considered pivotal, according to interviews with the Chicago Sun Times. 

Now, García lambasts Mayor Lightfoot for her inability to play politics well. 

“She’s caused unnecessary conflict,” García told the Chicago Sun Times. “She has called people out in public instead of having difficult conversations in her office or behind the scenes, where all of these things are not exposed.”

“People are tired of the conflict and the bickering and the fighting that they think is representative of her style of government.”

Comment from Mayor Lightfoot was not provoked. 

But commentary to local Chicago media agrees that it is a good time for García to run. 

As a congressman, he’s had time to build a proven record of policy-making and relationship-building, a factor that was seemingly missing in 2015, when he failed to articulate policy to address a pension crisis and cost him the race.

“This isn’t 2015... I’ve grown significantly. Most importantly, I’ve delivered in Congress... Putting my relationships to work for the wellness of the city, I’m coming home to be an effective leader and a good steward of Chicago,” he addressed to the Chicago Sun Times.

The mayoral race is expected to happen in February of 2023. 

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