‘Chuy’ García endorses ex-rival Brandon Johnson for mayor, aiming to lock down progressive vote against Paul Vallas – Chicago Tribune

U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” García endorsed Brandon Johnson for Chicago mayor Friday, giving the Cook County commissioner a potential boost in the April 4 election.

The endorsement follows a disappointing mayoral campaign for García, who entered the race as a frontrunner but staggered to a fourth-place finish in the first round of voting Feb. 28.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, right, square off during a meeting with the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Jan. 23, with fellow mayoral candidate U.S. Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia between them. With Garcia and Lightfoot now both eliminated in the first round of voting, Garcia is backing Johnson over Paul Vallas in the April 4 runoff.

As a candidate, García often spoke of replicating the 1983 multiracial coalition that ushered Harold Washington into the mayor’s office. Instead, Johnson leapfrogged Mayor Lori Lightfoot to face off against former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in the runoff.

Now the two erstwhile rivals are reuniting to fortify the progressive movement and try to prevent Vallas from taking City Hall’s top job.

García spoke about the history of Chicago political coalitions and the importance of Black and brown residents coming together in the mayor’s race.

“The choice is clear. Chicago is a city of strong public schools, thriving neighborhoods and progressive values,” García said. “It is through this lens that I see Brandon Johnson as the right choice. and why I’m endorsing him for mayor.”

Johnson returned the compliment, praising García for his long history as a progressive.

“Every time this city needed a leader and a champion, Chuy García was there,” he said.

How much of a boost García’s support gives Johnson remains to be seen. In addition to losing his own race on election night, García faced a setback in the 25th ward where Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez beat back a challenger supported by the congressman.

Despite the defeats, García remains one of the city’s most prominent politicians, and his support could help Johnson grow his support with Southwest Side Latinos and white liberals who live along the lakefront.

The Chicago Laborers’ District Council, meanwhile, endorsed Vallas. The laborers are a big-hitter trade union and have often been generous with financial support for their favored candidates. That endorsement highlights the ongoing split between public and trade unions supporting Johnson and Vallas, respectively.

Source : https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/elections/ct-chuy-garcia-endorses-brandon-johnson-chicago-mayor-20230317-fob7k5q6pjcz3jcfrnen5suxze-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/news/

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