CHICAGO — Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson are continuing to rack up endorsements as they head to a runoff, with Vallas getting backing from former mayoral candidate and activist Ja’Mal Green and Johnson getting the nod from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
The rival campaigns announced the endorsements Wednesday.
Vallas, a former Chicago Public Schools CEO, came in first of nine candidates in the Feb. 28 election, receiving 33 percent of the vote. Johnson, a Cook County commissioner, followed with about 22 percent, according to unofficial results.
Green came in sixth, garnering about 12,000 votes. He also ran for mayor in 2019 and has been a prominent activist leading protests against police violence and Chase Bank’s racist lending practices.
Green has been vocal about pushing for police reform within the Police Department and said during his campaign he would not support hiring additional cops if elected mayor.
But Vallas has advocated to fill police vacancies and rehire retired officers, as well as adding a dedicated CTA police unit.
And while Vallas has said he would ensure the department complies with the federally mandated consent decree, he has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, which has long resisted reforms.
Fellow mayoral candidates businessman Willie Wilson and retiring Ald. Rod Sawyer (6th) have also backed Vallas.
Raoul is the first statewide elected official to endorse a candidate in the runoff election. He was elected attorney general in 2018 after more than a decade as a state senator, and reelected in 2022.
“Brandon is the right candidate to move Chicago forward, and I am grateful for his partnership to achieve full implementation of the Chicago police consent decree, make critical investments in mental health resources for police officers, and crack down on organized retail theft,” Raoul said in a statement.
In other endorsements, Alds. Nicole Lee (11th), Samantha Nugent (39th) and Debra Silverstein (50th), and incoming 44th Ward Ald. Bennett Lawson all have backed Vallas.
Also this week, Johnson was endorsed by pro-choice group Personal PAC.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who came in third place Feb. 28, and Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, who came in fourth, have not announced any plans to endorse a candidate for the runoff.
Johnson and Vallas have clashed in a series of forums and debates in recent days. The candidates Tuesday sparred over their starkly different approaches to public safety, while both walked back controversial comments about policing.
The runoff is April 4. Early voting starts March 20.
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