Jessica Gutierrez, daughter of Congressman Gutierrez, joins Chicago alderman race

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Jessica Gutierrez, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, is running for the 30th Ward alderman seat. (WLS)

Jessica Gutierrez, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, announced Monday that she is joining the race for Chicago's 30th Ward alderman seat.

Her father watched teary-eyed as she launched her first campaign and promised to be an independent voice.

Jessica Gutierrez, 30, will face-off against Ald. Ariel Reboyras, an ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"Too often he has failed to step up and lead, instead he does what he's instructed," Gutierrez said of her opponent.

She said Reboyras votes with the mayor 100 percent of the time.



Jessica Gutierrez, whose middle name is Washington in honor of former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, said she plans to blaze her own trail campaigning on a progressive platform that includes supporting an elected school board and police accountability.

"Sometimes having a father with such a big name is intimidating, but now I'm a young independent woman who is comfortable in my own skin," Gutierrez said.

Jessica Gutierrez's candidacy puts the mayor in a political pickle. Congressman Gutierrez is the co-chair of Emanuel's re-election campaign. Yet, the congressman said he will help his daughter beat Emanuel's ally.

"I'm going to support my daughter as a father, it's hard to make that choice but it's pretty clear whose side I'm on," said Luis Gutierrez, who announced five months ago that he would not seek re-election to Congress.

Emanuel did not take reporters' questions at either of his two public events on Monday. Ald. Reboyras did not respond to requests comment, but does plan to seek re-election.

The 30th Ward is majority Hispanic. Gutierrez hopes to ride the wave of Chuy Garcia-backed progressive candidates who have had recent success at the polls.

While she plans to seek the endorsement of Garcia, who is primed to replace her father in Congress, Jessica Gutierrez would not say whether she would seek the endorsement of Mayor Emanuel.

"At this time, we are focusing on the people of the 30th Ward," she said.
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