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Ald. Brian Hopkins Seeking Reelection — But Not Ruling Out ‘Last-Minute Pivot’ To Join Crowded Mayor’s Race

Hopkins has been a consistent Lori Lightfoot critic and said his motivation behind contemplating a run against her is based on "dissatisfaction with her leadership and her performance."

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) speaks to the press on May 20, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) is running for a third term on City Council — but he isn’t ruling out a last-minute entry to the crowded mayoral race, he said.

Hopkins has represented the 2nd Ward in City Council since 2015. The ward stretches from the Gold Coast into parts of Bucktown and Ukrainian Village, although it was consolidated east of the Chicago River in this year’s ward redrawing process.

Hopkins’ name has been floated as a potential mayoral candidate for months, and he told WBBM in May he was conducting polling in the race.

Over the past year, Hopkins has become an outspoken opponent of the Chicago casino, which will be built near his ward. Recently, he proposed revoking late-night bar licenses in River North in response to a rise in violent crime in the neighborhood.

Hopkins said Tuesday he has nominating petitions for another term as 2nd Ward alderman “out on the street right now,” but depending on how the field changes in upcoming days, he could still launch a campaign for mayor.

“I’m not ruling out the possibility of a last-minute pivot, that I may jump into the mayor’s race in the next week if some dramatic things happen, but I’m really not expecting that,” he said.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) arrives on bicycle during a bike safety event regarding a proposed upgrade to the bike lane on Augusta Boulevard on June 8, 2022.

Three sitting Chicago aldermen have entered the mayoral race to challenge Mayor Lori Lightfoot: Ray Lopez (15th), Roderick Sawyer (6th) and Sophia King (4th). Retiring Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) has also hinted he’s considering a run. No sitting alderperson has ever been elected mayor.

State Rep. Kam Buckner, businessman Willie Wilson, activist Ja’Mal Green and former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas are also running.

“There’s an idea that at least one more candidate could get in the race and probably should,” Hopkins said. “Who that candidate could be, you know, is kind of a topic of discussion right now. I’m going to let that process play out and stay involved in those discussions. For strategic purposes, it’s better if we all keep our options open as we have those discussions.”

Hopkins has been a consistent Lightfoot critic and said his motivation behind contemplating a run against her is based on “dissatisfaction with her leadership and her performance.”

Hopkins said he’s likely to support a candidate running against her, if it’s not himself.

“I’m sure I’ll feel I’ll feel that way regardless of whether my name appears on the ballot as a candidate for mayor or as a candidate for reelection as alderman. The dissatisfaction with her leadership remains the same,” he said.

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