Ald. Raymond Lopez announces Chicago mayoral campaign: 'I'm in'

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) announced Wednesday he is giving up his City Council seat to enter the race to become Chicago's next mayor.

Lopez, who has served as alderman since 2012, has been a vocal critic of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, sparring with her over her administration's response to crime and the coronavirus outbreak.

"I love my City and, like most Chicagoans, I am sick and tired of watching Chicago flounder at the hands of a rudderless ship," Lopez said in a statement. "The time is now to provide our great City with the compassion and leadership it deserves. I’m in, and I hope Chicago will join me."


Lopez was the first openly gay Mexican-American to be elected to City Council.

No member of the City Council has ever been elected mayor of Chicago. The only two acting mayors — Michael Bilandic and Eugene Sawyer — were chosen by their colleagues after the deaths in office of Richard J. Daley and Harold Washington.

Both Bilandic and Sawyer lost special elections to fill those vacancies.

The 15th Ward contains significant portions of the Back of the Yards, Brighton Park, Gage Park and West Englewood neighborhoods.

Lopez's political backbone was on display during the civil unrest triggered by the death of George Floyd that devolved into two devastating rounds of looting in the summer of 2020.

Lightfoot unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against Lopez when he dared accuse her of being caught flat-footed after the first round of looting that spread into South and West Side neighborhoods after downtown was belatedly sealed off.

At the time, Lightfoot further accused Lopez of "illegally" taping her May 31, 2020 phone call with aldermen upset about looting and mayhem in their wards and "leaking" the part that included a profane exchange between them.

The Chicago-native called for Lightfoot to fire CPD Supt. David Brown during last summer in wake of a surge of violence.

Lightfoot has not officially announced if she intends on running for re-election.

The election will be held Feb. 28, 2023.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.