Mayor Lori Lightfoot skirts reelection talk, but invites opponents to 'come one, come all'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot downplayed speculation about her political future in Chicago Monday as she navigates the COVID safety dispute that has shut down Chicago Public Schools.

With her hands full trying to end the six day standoff with the Chicago Teachers Union, she danced around questions about whether she is running for reelection.

RELATED: Lightfoot optimistic deal between CPS, CTU is on horizon

"There's no reason for me to be talking about what my political future is, given the plate of issues I have right in front of me," Lightfoot said. "I am focused on public safety, pandemic and economic recovery. And obviously I'm dealing with the CPS-CTU issue."

But her response to that, and other issues facing the city, can be seen by some as how she is positioning herself for reelection.

"I can't control what other people look at and see, and the lens through which they view things," Lightfoot countered.

Former CPS CEO and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is being wooed by some members of the business community, and a source said he will be meeting with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

When asked if she expects him to run and how serious a challenger he would be, she simply said, "Come one, come all."

It's not just COVID and education that Lightfoot is dealing with. Crime continues to be a problem plaguing downtown and neighborhoods.

"I think we've already made some progress this year already, year over year, but, look, the reality is we're seeing the manifestations of decades of neglect in our neighborhoods," Lightfoot said.

Monday the mayor's office announced the appointment of her pick to lead the new Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, but said this is not a threat to CPD Superintendent David Brown's Future.

"The two are completely separate," Lightfoot said. "I have 1000% confidence in David Brown."

But as Lightfoot brushed off talk of her reelection, for now her handling of major issues like schools, the pandemic and crime will certainly be on the minds of voters.
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