U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez not running for mayor

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018
U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez not running for mayor
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, is not running for mayor of Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Congressman Luis Gutierrez ended speculation about his political future on Wednesday by announcing that he won't run for Chicago mayor.

He went on to throw his support and resources behind Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a run-off election four years ago.

"I want Chuy to come back and finish the revolution that he started 4 years ago," said Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, during a press conference.

RELATED: Will Toni Preckwinkle run for Chicago mayor?

Gutierrez, who already has said he will not run for re-election, said he will not run for mayor because he wants to help his daughter with her aldermanic campaign and help rebuild Puerto Rico.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez will not be running for mayor of Chicago, he announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Gutierrez's decision comes after Mayor Rahm Emanuel's decision last week that he would not be running for a third term.

Gutierrez was elected to Congress in 1992 and previously served as an alderman.

But does Garcia want to come back and run for mayor?

Garcia, 62, is running for the Congressional seat Gutierrez vacated. In fact, Gutierrez drafted him to run for his seat when he announced his retirement. Now, Gutierrez is strongly urging Garcia to run for mayor.

More than a dozen candidates have declared their intentions to replace Mayor Emanuel.

RELATED: Who is running for mayor of Chicago?

"I think I'm a pretty convincing person. I'm going to be pretty adamant and I assure you Chuy is going to circulate petitions to put his name on the ballot, or I will," Gutierrez said.

In a written statement released Wednesday thanking Gutierrez and others for the encouragement, Garcia said: "As I take a closer look at the mayor's race I will continue to dialogue with Chicagoans from across our great city to talk about solutions that will both unify us and improve everyone's quality of life."

Meantime, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said that while she already has petitions circulating on the street, she has yet to decide if she will join the mayor's race.

"If and when I schedule am announcement, I will sure you are informed," Preckwinkle said.

Regardless, she did have the Cook County board lawyer prepared to answer questions about the succession process for a board president.

Mayoral Candidate Willie Wilson doesn't think Preckwinkle or Garcia should join the race. Wilson announced Wednesday that he has already collected 52,000 signatures.