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By: Jerad Karasek

As election day approaches for deciding the next Mayor of Chicago, candidates are preparing to challenge the incumbent Rahm Emanuel. There are currently 10 candidates declared for running on February 26, 2019.

Rahm Emanuel is a member of the Democratic party and was elected as Mayor of Chicago in 2011, and re-elected in 2015. He is generally liberal on social issues, advocating for pro-choice on abortion, supporting LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, and he is a supporter of gun control. His announcement for running for a third term was released in October 2017. In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune Emanuel discussed some of the issues with politicians in Chicago. “Part of the problems that we have were because people took the easy route politically. Whether it’s on fiscal stuff, educational stuff, or reforming government, there’s nowhere you can look where I basically took the easy political route.” he said.

Dorothy Brown is a member of the Democratic party and she currently serves as the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in the First Judicial District of Illinois. This isn’t her first campaign for Mayor of Chicago, however, she could be hindered by the current federal investigation into the alleged job-selling launched against her.

Ja’mal Green is a 22-year-old Black Lives Matter activist and a vocal critic of Rahm Emanuel. The major aspects of his platform are increasing investment in education, police reform, and creating an elected school board.

Troy LaRaviere is the President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and a former Principal of Blaine Elementary School. He has spoken out against the privatization of school janitorial services, charter schools, and the lack of sufficient funding for special education. His website states that he is running on a “fundamentally progressive agenda.”

Lori Lightfoot is the President of the Chicago Police Board and she is a progressive. Her platform is focused on education reform, improving public safety, and developing neighborhoods.

John Kozlar was a candidate for Ward 11 in Chicago in 2015 and is progressive. The major aspects of his platform are additional resources for education, public safety, improving the job market, and increasing revenue to the city.

Garry McCarthy is the former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department and believes “there are no political solutions to practical problems,” according to his campaign website. His goals if he becomes mayor are financial reform, lowering crime, and allocating resources for schools.

Neal Sales-Griffin is a professor at Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and he is the former president of Associated Student Government. He is campaigning on a platform of transparency, accountability, and access.

Paul Vallas is the former Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools and is a member of the Democratic party. The main issues he is concerned with are public safety, improving schools, and decreasing the cost of living.

Willie Wilson is a businessman and was a candidate for mayor in 2015 and a candidate for United States President in 2016. Some aspects of his platform are creating safer neighborhoods, legalizing recreational marijuana, and ending political corruption.

There are several other potential candidates and six candidates who have been denied the ballot, among them Grammy-award winning musician Chance the Rapper. There are no Conservative or Republican candidates declared for running.


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