The announcement this past fall that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would not be seeking another term in the 2019 election opened an already-crowded playing field even wider. Some 21 individuals had submitted petitions by the deadline date, Nov. 26.
It's unlikely that all those persons will appear on the ballots in February, however. Candidates and their allies will spend the next several weeks challenging the authenticity and thoroughness of their opponents' petitions; likewise some will surely face financial difficulties or be unable to muster widespread interest. Voters' final choices won't be determined until well into the winter.
A number of potential candidates have voiced support for LGBT rights in various capacities, be it in media interviews, appearances at community events or public advocacy for our issues. Windy City Times will follow the election closely in the months ahead.
As of Nov. 26, candidates included Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown; former City official and 2011 mayoral candidate Gery Chico; former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, son and brother to two previous mayors; activist and Austin Chamber of Commerce Director ( and former 2015 mayoral candidate ) Amara Enyia; former Ald. Bob Fioretti, who also ran for mayor in 2015; activist Ja'Mal Green; attorney Jerry Joyce; attorney John Kozlar; former prosecutor and Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, the first openly lesbian Black mayoral candidate in the city's hisotry; former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy; state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who was just re-elected in November; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin; former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas; and businessman Willie Wilson, another 2015 candidate.