Chicago mayor race: Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia picks up endorsement from former Gov. Pat Quinn

City Club hosts cocktail hour with candidates, civic and business leaders

Craig Wall Image
Friday, February 10, 2023
Former Gov. Pat Quinn endorses candidate in Chicago mayor's race
Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia snagged a big name endorsement in former Governor Pat Quinn.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The race for Chicago mayor took on a new, informal look Thursday night with the nine candidates all gathering for a cocktail hour meet-and-greet to make their pitch for votes.

It came on a busy day of endorsements, with one big name announcing his support in the race.

CHICAGO MAYOR RACE | New poll shows statistical dead heat between Lightfoot, Garcia, Vallas

The race for mayor has featured countless community and media sponsored forums for months now. But on Thursday night, the City Club hosted a rather different event at Maggiano's blending cocktails and candidates.

Business, civic and community leaders plunking down from $150 to $1,500 to rub elbows with the nine men and women vying to be the next mayor. The candidates were all given a chance to say why they should be the next mayor.

"It is so important that we have a leader with vision and not just another politician with memories," candidate Ja'Mal Green said.

"I'm that person that has the most current and relevant government, city government experience in this race," candidate Roderick Sawyer said.

"I believe that before you can do anything about anything, you have to deal with this crime," candidate Willie Wilson said.

Each candidate was asked to make their pitch without attacking their rivals.

"We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to not just be some nostalgic version of who we once were, but to be the city that we always deserved to be," candidate Kam Buckner said.

"We also understand that we need a mayor that represents the entire city and not just a segregated portion of it," candidate Sophia King said.

"We have families that wake up every single day and chase down an economy that's behind them, while everything in front of them is crumbling," candidate Brandon Johnson said. "That is the essence of the tale of two cities."

"I have always drawn from the talent that existed, because that's what leadership does," candidate Paul Vallas said. "Leadership is not a single person, leadership is a collective."

Earlier Thursday, Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia snagged a big name endorsement in former Governor Pat Quinn.

"In a heated race, where people are vying, especially three people seem to be vying, for the top spot, this could make a big difference to us," Garcia said.

While Wilson touted his own endorsement from a group of Hispanic pastors, Lightfoot got support from her own group of faith leaders.

Her pitch to the City Club was: "Why do I want to run for reelection? Because the work isn't done."

Election Day in Chicago is February 28. The two candidates that get the most votes will move to the runoff election on April 4.