Willie Wilson endorses Paul Vallas, SEIU endorses Brandon Johnson ahead of 1st mayoral runoff forum

Michelle Gallardo Image
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Paul Vallas, Brandon Johnson tout newest endorsements ahead of forum
Chicago mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson touted two big endorsements, one for each of them, ahead of their first mayoral forum head-to-head Wednesday night.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two big endorsements, one each for Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas, came in just hours before the candidates face off for the first time since the February 28 election. Their sources of support, political and financial, clearly draw the line between them.

Former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson, who garnered 10% of the vote on Election Day, threw his support behind Vallas. Wilson cited not just their common goals, but a poll of sorts he conducted on social media asking his supporters who he should back.

RELATED: Chicago mayoral race down to Vallas, Johnson in runoff election

"If I had to tally it up from my own account Paul pretty much leading by I'd say probably 75 to 85%, and most of it is due because of the crime and the taxes," Wilson said.

"We have been aligned on the issues going back to our first run together. And our first interactions together," Vallas said.

READ MORE: New poll shows Vallas with double digit lead over Johnson, nearly a quarter of voters undecided

But even as Vallas continues to rake in support and money from big business, Brandon Johnson this week also got a huge boost.

"With Brandon Johnson as Mayor of Chicago working families across the city will have a voice at the table," said genie Kastrup, president of SEIU Local 1.

The latest campaign filings showing Vallas raising over $1.2 million just since Monday, mostly from big business. Johnson picked up a cool $1 million in union money from both the Illinois Federation of Teachers and SEIU Healthcare. Endorsing him Wednesday, SEIU Local 1 said they will be putting their money where their mouth is soon.

RELATED: Chicago mayoral candidates earn new endorsements ahead of runoff

"We will ensure that Brandon has the resources that he needs and at the end of the day on one hand an election is about money, but it's about people and what we represent is people," Kastrup said.

"The differences are very clear and we don't need a Republican on the fifth floor. We need the interests of working people on the fifth floor," Johnson said.

Which endorsement will prove more valuable? Only the next four weeks will tell. While the differences between both candidates are stark, tonight's debate should provide a platform for each to elaborate on why they are the better choice for Chicagoans come April 4.