Chicago mayoral challenger predicts Lightfoot won't make runoff election
CHICAGO - Chicagoans will begin voting for mayor later this month, and we'll count the ballots on Feb. 28.
The campaign is about to heat up, with several candidates promising new tv commercials this week and a series of candidate forums on tap.
With nine candidates on the ballot next month, it's unlikely anyone will get the 50% plus one vote needed to win outright, meaning a two-person runoff on April 4 is virtually certain.
Businessman Willie Wilson predicts that, for the first time ever, the incumbent won't make it.
"I do not believe Mayor Lightfoot is even going to make it in the runoff," Wilson said.
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While the mayor predicts she'll win another term, she was in third place in a voter opinion survey first reported here on FOX 32 News last month.
Since then, the Chicago Board of Election commissioners has ruled on a series of challenges to various candidates, with at least nine qualifying for a spot on next month's first round ballot.
In order, they are: activist Ja'Mal Green, 4th ward city council member Sophia King, state Rep. Kam Buckner, Willie Wilson, teachers union organizer Brandon Johnson, former public schools CEO Paul Vallas, Mayor Lightfoot, 6th ward council member Roderick Sawyer, and Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.
Garcia is the clear frontrunner in recent polling, though Wilson predicts he will finish first on Feb. 28.
"We're going to spend a lot of money on television, and radio and social media. And we're going to walk a lot of community. We're going to shake hands. We got town hall meetings," Wilson said.
Among the town hall-style candidate forums scheduled this week is one sponsored by Access Living. They say Mayor Lightfoot, who has skipped previous forums because of unspecified "scheduling conflicts," will participate, as will Congressman Garcia, who's going to be busy on Capitol Hill this week as the House tries to elect a new speaker.