CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced his run for mayor on Thursday, and community leaders are already reacting.
The former Chicago police superintendent will be challenging the man who fired him, Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
After months of speculation, McCarthy made it official in a video announcement Wednesday, critiquing his former boss.
"That's why it's so painful to see that, under this mayor, we're awash in higher taxes, corruption, school closings and violent crime. We don't have to live like this. Chicago doesn't have to live like this," he said.
McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have a unique relationship, given that Emanuel fired the former top-cop in 2015 amidst anger over the city and police department's handling of the controversial police shooting of Laquan McDonald.
"Laquan McDonald looms large again his specter is over running Emanuel every day with McCarthy being in this race," said Pastor Gregory Livingston, president of Coalition for a New Chicago.
Pastor Livingston said he believes McCarthy is the biggest "danger" to Emanuel's re-election, but the former police superintendent has a long way to go to gain the trust of Chicago's black community.
"He will have to show the black community that he can open up access equality and aces contracts and everything else to the black community," Livingston said.
Thursday morning, residents in Bronzeville were already weighing in on the race, and it was clear the McDonald case is still on the mind.
"With that case with the young kid getting shot, I just wouldn't trust him too. I think let's keep the man in. Let's go with Rahm," said Bronzeville resident Anthony Vixon.
Many said it will be a difficult choice.
"You don't know who to vote for, there's too many candidates," said Bronzeville resident Prentice Miller.
An Emanuel campaign spokesman said in a statement, "Anyone who thinks Chicago is only "ONE of the greatest cities in the world" not only does not deserve to be mayor of Chicago but does not make the minimum requirement needed to run for mayor of Chicago. Until Garry learns that Chicagoans do not share his desire to become New York City he is going to struggle in this proud town. "
Alderman Jason Ervin released a statement Thursday denouncing McCarthy. Ervin said. "The last time we heard from Garry McCarthy he said every black person in Chicago is a "trigger puller" and that the black leadership of this city was "serving their master." He also defended Jason Van Dyke and said he followed "police procedure," Alderman Ervin said. "For the good of Chicago voters, it should have been the last time. Unfortunately, his candidacy for Mayor ensures that we will hear more hate, more decisive comments, and more racist views. Garry McCarthy should take his Donald Trump philosophy and Rudi Giuliani rhetoric back to New York instead of insulting Chicagoans with this fantasy campaign for Mayor."
Community reacts to former CPD Supt. Garry McCarthy's mayoral announcement