Who is running for mayor of Chicago? Election Day is Feb. 26, 2019

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not seek re-election, leaving a still-crowded field who are hoping to take the helm of the city.

The election is Feb. 26, 2019 and candidates can't file their paperwork with the Chicago Board of Elections until Nov. 19. The deadline to gather the required 12,500 signatures to run is Nov. 26 - just three weeks after the November elections.

However, potential candidates have been throwing their hats in the ring for months.

RELATED: Rahm Emanuel announces he's not running for Chicago mayor re-election

Several well-known names in Emanuel's political circle are being talked about as possible candidates.

After the announcement, at least two progressive aldermen said they are not ruling out a run, including Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward) and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward).

The big question is who will benefit from big money that would have gone to Emanuel?

"I think most people want to wait and see the smoke clear, and when it clears who remains interested," said Ald. Ed Burke, chairman of City Council's Finance Committee.

So far, people who have said they will run include:

Dorothy Brown
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County

Gery Chico
Former president of Chicago Public Schools, chair of the City Colleges of Chicago and president of the Chicago Park District.

William Daley:
Former U.S. commerce secretary and chief of staff for President Barack Obama. Son of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of Richard M. Daley.

Amara Enyia
Community activist and policy consultant

Ja'Mal Green
Community activist who helped organize demonstrations after the Laquan McDonald police shooting tape went public. Executive director of the Majostee Allstars Community Center

Jerry Joyce Jr.
Former Assistant States Attorney and son of former Alderman Jeremiah E. Joyce

Troy LaRaviere
President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. Former CPS principal.

Lori Lightfoot
Former Chicago Police Board president and Chicago Police Accountability Task Force chairwoman

John Kozlar
Attorney and former candidate for alderman in Chicago's 11th Ward

Garry McCarthy
Former superintendent of the Chicago Police Department

Toni Preckwinkle
Cook County board president

Matthew Roney
DePaul University student/pharmaceutical technician

Neal Sales-Griffin
Tech entrepreneur and professor at Northwestern University's Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Paul Vallas
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and city budget director under Richard M. Daley

Willie Wilson
Businessman, 2015 mayoral candidate, 2016 presidential candidate


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Several names are being tossed around to replace Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A day after Emanuel's announcement, speculation continued about yet-to-declare candidates.

On Wednesday, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza jokingly asked a crowd at a City Club event whether they had any ideas for the next mayor of Chicago. She said her ideas for Chicago's next mayor should wait until after the November election.

"Having the moral temperament or the toughness, the character, those are things that I have certainly have for any position I run for, right now I'm running for Illinois comptroller," said Mendoza.

Mendoza says she is fielding many calls about getting into the mayoral race, but for the next 62 days she is focused on getting re-elected as comptroller.

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Mayor Emanuel reflects on decision to not seek re-election while speculation continues about yet-to-declare candidates.

ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington said, at this stage, the person must be a known quantity. "You have to have a highly visible name and a highly recognized political track record," said Washington.

Names being tossed around former Secretary of Education and CPS CEO Arne Duncan; Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

On Wednesday, Madigan said she is not interested. "The city has a lot of challenges it is facing and I look forward to helping the city move through those challenges, but I plan on doing that as a resident of Chicago, not as the mayor, not as a candidate for Mayor," said Madigan.

"Based on the calls I've been getting from a lot of people who would be supporters financial and other wise, I feel encouraged," said Chico, who is strongly considering a run. Right now, there are no Latino candidates in the mayoral race.


Many of the declared candidates have focused their campaigns on attacking incumbent Emanuel, but now will have to change their strategy without Emanuel as a target.

Garry McCarthy, Emanuel's former CPD superintendent, said Tuesday's announcement could change the whole race.

"It changes the campaign, it makes it easier for people who are afraid of the bullying politics of City Hall to come forward and say, 'We are supporting you,'" he said.

McCarthy said he would not be surprised if deals are being cut at City Hall for an Emanuel-backed candidate.

"Is there another shoe that is going to drop here?" said McCarthy.

However, Lori Lightfoot said the news doesn't change her campaign.

"With the incumbent being out, there is going to a lot of conversations, I'm still going to be talking about what I've been talking about for the past four months," said Lightfoot, a former president of the Chicago Police Board.

Candidate Paul Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, is vying for another tour of city public service.

"The public remembers me as someone who was always concerned about every neighborhood, every community, particularly those communities that had long been neglected," Vallas said.

Activist and candidate Ja'Mal Green said "good riddance" to news of Emanuel not running.

"Much of the credit after the announcement goes to the activists and organizers who hit the pavement after the Laquan McDonald video," Green said.

Lightfoot and Vallas had harsh words for candidates who plan to jump into the race now.

"If they did not have the guts to get in the race when Rahm Emanuel was still running, then will they have the guts to move the city forward?" Vallas said.

"Anybody that decided to jump in to take advantage of today's political news, I think a fair question to ask them is, "Where have they been?" Lightfoot said.
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