DOWNTOWN — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced he will not run for a third term as Chicago’s mayor — meaning the race to fill that spot just got even messier.
In all, there are 11 people who have officially tossed their hat in the ring for the mayoral election, and more are expected to announce given that news.
The candidates with the most name recognition — and the ones considered to be frontrunners — are Lori Lightfoot, former president of the Chicago Police Board; Paul Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools; and former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
But the race has also been crowded by activists like Ja’Mal Green and outsiders like Troy LaRaviere, a former CPS principal, and businessman Willie Wilson, among others.
Here’s a full list of who’s running:
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Lightfoot said there had been rumors floating about whether Emanuel would run this time around, so she wasn’t entirely surprised. She did, however, question those who are just now expressing interest.
“I think there have been a lot of names already floating around,” Lightfoot said during a press conference at the Union League Club of Chicago. “To be the mayor of this city, you need to have courage, you need to have strength and you need to bring people together. Many of us have been out here for months making our case to Chicagoans. And anybody who decides to jump in and take advantage of today’s political news, I think a fair question to ask them is: where they’ve been?”
Jerry Joyce Jr., the son of a former 19th ward alderman, has also filed paperwork with the state that would allow him to start collecting campaign donations, according to the Tribune.
As news of Emanuel’s announcement spread, more potential candidates began to pop out of the woodwork Tuesday. Ald. Rick Munoz (22nd) said he’s planning to run during a WGN appearance. Supporters of Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) tweeted at him, encouraging him to run, but Ramirez-Rosa said he loves his job and it was “the only thing [he’s] running for.”
“In my role as 35th ward alderman, I’ve had an impact on citywide conversations. I’ve had an impact on trying to create a Chicago … that is prioritizing our families. I look forward to continuing to play that role as alderman,” Ramirez-Rosa said. “Just like today’s news, no one knows what the future looks like. But my commitment is to work as alderman.”
Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) also didn’t say no to a potential run.
“It’s shocking, and it’s going to be a very competitive election,” Pawar said of Emanuel’s news. “I’m not going to rule anything out. For me the biggest factor is my family. But I’m certainly not going to rule it out. That’s where I am at this moment.”