Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley will announce Monday that he’s going to run for a job once held by his brother and father – mayor of Chicago.
Daley would mark the first big-name candidate to officially jump in the race since Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the stunning announcement earlier this month that he would not seek a third term. Daley, whose nascent campaign confirmed Friday he would run, succeeded Emanuel as then-President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff after Emanuel left the job to run for mayor in 2010.
Daley’s bloodline in Chicago politics runs deep. His father, Richard J. Daley, was mayor for 21 years until his death in 1976, and brother, Richard M. Daley, was the city’s longest serving mayor until he decided not to seek another term before the 2011 election that Emanuel won.
Daley has flirted with running for a high-profile office before, including 2002 and 2010 bids for governor, but never moved forward. In 2013, he briefly entered the Democratic primary contest for governor, but then abruptly dropped out saying a bid “wasn’t the best thing for me” and vowed never to seek public office again. Now at 70 years old, Daley will have to explain what’s changed.
His surname also might not carry the same clout with the electorate it used to, as the party continues to drift further left from his centrist business background. Daley also would get tagged by progressives for his brother’s financial mismanagement of the city and his father’s role in Chicago becoming a deeply segregated city.
The main candidates who have declared they are running for mayor in the Feb. 26 election include former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, millionaire businessman Willie Wilson, Chicago principals association President Troy LaRaviere, activist Ja’Mal Green, tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin, Southwest Side attorney Jerry Joyce, policy consultant Amara Enyia, attorney John Kozlar and DePaul student Matthew Roney.
In addition to Daley, several other high profile politicians have weighed a run for mayor after Emanuel’s surprise departure from the race to spend more time with his wife, Amy, and write an unspecified “next chapter” of his life.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez kicked the tires on a mayoral campaign before dropping out earlier in the week to encourage Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to run. Garcia is on the November ballot to succeed the retiring Gutierrez in the predominantly Hispanic 4th Congressional District.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also has said she is seriously considering a mayoral campaign. She is unopposed in the November election for a third term as the county’s chief executive. State comptroller Susana Mendoza also has been calling donors and labor leaders behind the scenes about a potential bid, but has declined to discuss a bid publicly, saying she is focused on her statewide race in November.
North Side U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and 2011 mayoral candidate and City Hall veteran Gery Chico also are considering launching mayoral campaigns.
This story will be updated
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