(The Center Square) – A former Illinois governor says “no” to the Chicago mayoral race to focus on other issues.
There was speculation that former Gov. Pat Quinn would announce his campaign to be Chicago’s next mayor. During a news conference Thursday, Quinn said he would not be challenging Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot but did say he plans to advocate for various issues within the city.
“I went all over our city, to every side of our city. I know there are some aspirants for mayor who think I am too old to run, but I do not think my ideas are old,” the 73-year-old said.
Quinn served as Illinois governor from 2009 to 2015 after getting the job following former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment and removal from office. Quinn was defeated by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2014 election. Now in 2022, Quinn’s new focus is helping Illinoisans fight high taxes.
“I think my opportunity to serve comes best at starting and conducting that petition drive and working with people in other communities in Illinois on their petition drives and referendums,” the former Governor said.
Quinn had been garnering support for a mayoral campaign by gaining signatures for the ballot. He said the people need someone like him.
“They want somebody to stand up for property taxpayers, someone who will stand up for consumer protection and against big utilities that are gauging people with unfair rates and prices,” Quinn said. “They need someone who understands that we need jobs.”
So far, nine candidates have announced they will run for election to replace Lightfoot, who has been in office since 2019 and is seeking reelection.
Kam Buckner, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, Frederick Collins, a law enforcement officer, and Ja’Mal Green, an activist, are among those who’ve announced their campaigns.
Several city council members have also announced their campaigns, as Sophia King, Raymond Lopez, and Roderick Sawyer have decided to run.
Paul Vallas, former chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools and candidate for mayor in 2019, will run again, as will Willie Wilson, businessman and candidate for mayor of Chicago in 2015 and 2019. Also running is U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who ran for mayor in 2015.