Paul Vallas

CHICAGO — Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas is running for mayor of Chicago,  hoping to oust Mayor Lori Lightfoot from City Hall in 2023.

Vallas, who also served as the city’s budget director under Mayor Richard M. Daley, announced his candidacy via press release Wednesday. He unsuccessfully ran against Lightfoot and a crowd of other mayoral hopefuls in 2019 after former Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he was stepping down.

Vallas, who grew up in Roseland, said Chicagoans from every corner of the city have urged him to run for mayor as Chicago suffers from escalating violent crime, “a broken school system fails students and their parents, and a runaway budget sets residents up for higher property taxes.”

“But what Chicago suffers from most is a crisis in leadership. It doesn’t have to be this way,” Vallas said.

Vallas’ campaign is expected to focus on the city’s crime problems. In his announcement, he said he’s laid out of better vision for Chicago with concrete solutions to pressing problems in many op-eds, news reports and in essays on social media.

“During the coming months, I will continue to propose strategies to bring Chicago back from the brink. After all, I am a lifelong public servant obsessed with problem solving,” he said.

The city is ready for a leader to guide them “with more than poll-tested rhetoric and empty promises; one with specific plans, and the know-how to execute those plans,” Vallas said.

“I will be ready to turn our city around on Day 1. No on-the-job training needed. Chicagoans don’t need more personality in politicking, but more competence in governing!”

In the 2019 mayoral race, Vallas got 5 percent of the vote. He also unsuccessfully ran for Illinois governor in 2002 and lieutenant governor in 2014 with then-Gov. Pat Quinn.

After running CPS, Vallas went on to serve as CEO or superintendent of Philadelphia’s public schools, the Recovery School District of Louisiana and Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut.

Vallas joins State Rep. Kam Buckner, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) and businessman Willie Wilson in announcing their bids for the mayor’s office in 2023. Lightfoot’s re-election campaign is set to officially be announced June 7, according to Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt.

A host of other potential candidates have been floated, including Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), state Rep. La Shawn Ford, Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates, former Chicago Building Commissioner Judy Frydland, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, according to the Tribune.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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