Exploratory committee formed in attempt to draft former CPD Supt. McCarthy for mayoral run

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An exploratory committee was filed Wednesday by people trying to draft former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy for a mayoral run.

Paperwork bearing McCarthy's name and associated information was filed with the Illinois State Board to form the exploratory committee, but it was unclear as to whether or not McCarthy had anything to do with it.

On Friday, sources close to McCarthy told ABC7 people who are trying to draft him to run are the ones who filed election papers forming an exploratory committee. The chairman of the committee wants to do some polling to see what kind of financial support they would be able to raise, the source told ABC7.

McCarthy, 58, was the head of the Chicago Police Department from May of 2011 until December 2015, when he was fired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the wake of the release of video showing the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

The move caught many at City Hall off guard.

"I'm surprised. I'm surprised because Garry McCarthy's not a Chicagoan," said Alderman Howard Brookins (Ward 21).

But as news spread that McCarthy was possibly seeking to take over the office on the fifth floor of City Hall, several aldermen were wondering if he was serious.

"You know what, this is something that we've heard since last year, and I think he would be a good candidate because he has a lot of knowledge about Chicago, but anybody can run. I think it's a matter of people really wanting to change the trend of the city," said Alderman Milly Santiago (Ward 31).

The Laquan McDonald shooting is an issue likely to dog McCarthy should he actually run for mayor.

"I think people perceived that he was being scapegoated by the mayor, but he did bear some responsibility. He was the head of the Chicago Police Department when this scandal happened," said ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington.

McCarthy has told people he wants to see Emanuel held accountable for Chicago's murder rate, but he wouldn't need to run for mayor just to have a platform for that.

"I hope his heart's in it. I hope he isn't running simply because he's bitter of what transpired in December of 2015," said Alderman Ray Lopez (Ward 10).

"In my opinion, I think it'd be doubtful. It takes a track record, it takes money, it takes issues that you've been behind and that you've worked on. So I just don't see it," said Alderman Danny Solis (Ward 25).

"I don't see that he has a chance, but you never say never. Anything can happen, look who's the President of the United States," said Ald. Brookins.

Chicago's next mayoral election is in February 2019, and it could be a couple months before McCarthy makes a decision about whether to actually run for mayor.
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