Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas throws hat into Chicago mayoral race

Former Chicago Public Schools head Paul Vallas announced Wednesday he will be entering the race to become Chicago's next mayor.

Vallas, 69, joins a handful of hopefuls looking to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot during the Feb. 28, 2023 election.

In a statement Wednesday, Vallas condemned the city's "runaway budget" and "crisis in leadership."


Vallas led CPS from 1995 to 2001 and later was superintendent in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Bridgeport, Connecticut. He also ran for Chicago mayor in 2019, garnering 5 percent of the vote.

Part of his statement reads: "Over the past several years, I have laid out a better vision for Chicago with concrete solutions to our most pressing problems that are well-documented in many op-eds, news reports, and on social media. During the coming months, I will continue to propose strategies to bring Chicago back from the brink. After all, I am a lifelong public servant obsessed with problem solving. 

Chicago is ready for a leader to guide them with more than poll-tested rhetoric and empty promises; one with specific plans, and the know-how to execute those plans. I will be ready to turn our city around on Day 1. No on-the-job training needed. Chicagoans don’t need more personality in politicking, but more competence in governing!"

Lightfoot has not yet officially announced her intention to run for reelection.

Also running for mayor are businessman Willie Wilson, Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) and State Rep. Kam Buckner.