CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago mayoral candidates are touting dueling endorsements as Paul Vallas comes under fire for his Democratic credentials and past statements opposing abortion.
Several recent polls suggest Vallas is one of the frontrunners in the mayor's race, so it's no surprise he's coming under attack, but it's also an indication that this race will be rough and tumble in its final three weeks.
"When you're a frontrunner you're always going to become the focus, particularly when people don't have specific recommendations to make or have anything of substance to offer," Vallas said.
Candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia released a new digital attack ad featuring an interview with Vallas from 2009 in which he states, "I'm more of a Republican than a Democrat... fundamentally, I oppose abortion."
"Paul Vallas is a wolf in sheep's clothing. This is dangerous for Chicago," Garcia said.
Vallas said the video is edited out of context, and called Garcia desperate.
"I'm a lifelong Democrat from my days from my days going to work from Phil Rock and Dawn Clark Netsch to the campaigns that I've run as a strong pro-labor, pro-choice Democrat," he said.
"He's saying he's a lifelong Democrat, but this speaks to the character of Paul Vallas. He cannot be trusted, he will say anything to get elected," Garcia countered.
Meanwhile, 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins endorsed Vallas.
"His experience throughout the course of his life has prepared him to step into the role of mayor of Chicago at a time when we need change," he said.
And 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell, a Lightfoot ally and her budget director, endorses Brandon Johnson.
"He is someone who doesn't just talk the talk. He is someone that you can have a dialogue with, it's not one way or the highway," she said.
Johnson took a swipe at Mayor Lori Lightfoot comparing her leadership style with Donald Trump.
"Anyone who believes they can do and lead by themselves. That's how you ended up with President #45. You see how that went. And the same type of style has been executed in the city of Chicago," he said.
Vallas is also facing some scrutiny over political donations from several Republican-connected donors. But he said he's going to focus on his message down the home stretch and not his opponents