CHICAGO — Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) dropped out of the mayoral race early Monday — but says he remains committed to defeating incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Lopez, who represents portions of the Southwest Side, was among the first to announce a challenge to Lightfoot, starting his campaign in April. He’s since been joined by a long list of candidates — including two other alderpeople — which he said Monday played a role in his decision to back out of the race.
“With every new challenger that enters the race, the odds of Lori Lightfoot making it into a runoff, possibly even winning reelection, grows,” Lopez wrote in a letter posted to Twitter. “Chicago has survived many things over its existence, but it will not survive another four years with this mayor chasing headlines to cover up her nonstop bouncing from bad decision to bad decision.”
Lopez is “putting the city first” by removing himself from the ballot so there’s less chance of a runoff, he wrote.
Instead, Lopez will run for reelection as alderperson of the 15th Ward, he wrote. He would not have been able to seek reelection in the ward if he’d continued his mayoral campaign.
Lopez has long been an opponent of Lightfoot’s and made targeting her a key part of his mayoral announcement and campaign. He remains committed to seeing her lose her reelection bid, he wrote in Monday’s letter.
“We must defeat Lori Lightfoot. Period,” he wrote in the letter, bolding the words and making them larger than the rest.
Still in the race are Rep. Jesus “Chuy” García and alds. Sophia King and Roderick Sawyer. Paul Vallas, the former CPS CEO and a repeat mayoral contender, has joined the race, as has state Rep. Kam Buckner and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. Businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson is running, as is community activist Ja’Mal Green.
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