Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia not running for Chicago mayor

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jesus "Chuy" Garcia will not run for mayor of Chicago.

Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff in the last mayoral election. He is currently running for Congress to replace U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago.

Gutierrez and others have been vocal about wanting to draft Garcia into the race following Emanuel's surprise announcement that he is not running for a third term.

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Friday night, a giant mustache was digitally projected onto many Chicago buildings - including City Hall, Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. - in hopes of urging Garcia to run for mayor. Ald. Ricardo Munoz was behind the Batman-call mustache displays.

In a statement, Garcia thanked volunteers who were circulating petitions for him to run, adding: "I am truly moved."

"I sincerely believe I can do more for my city now in Washington. This decision is not about ascendancy or political positioning; it is about integrity and what I feel I can do for my city in Congress," Garcia said. "Chicago desperately needs federal help to tackle our infrastructure and transportation issues. Our city's immigration crisis can be solved only by Congress. Guaranteeing the rights of women and gay citizens and other minorities will be secured only through congressional action."

About a dozen people have said they intend to run for mayor of Chicago.

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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.

Garcia also had a message for the Rahm's successor: "To Chicago's next mayor, I say this: you must make bold changes that will unsettle those comfortable with the status quo. Only through a transformational agenda with deep neighborhood investment will Chicago become a city that works for everyone."

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