Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn pushes for term limits for Chicago mayors

Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is calling out Mayor Lori Lightfoot for failing to deliver on her campaign promise to work for term limits on future mayors.

On Wednesday, Quinn filed to put the issue on the November ballot as a voter referendum. He also lamented how little Lightfoot’s done on the issue, despite endorsing it years ago and featuring it again in a new campaign video.

"Mayor Lightfoot said she favored term limits. She said it over and over again," Quinn said.

The former governor said a voter opinion survey he commissioned found 68% support forcing Chicago mayors out of office after two, four-year terms. But it could only become law through a voter referendum.


Quinn tried in 2018, but then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a City Council majority used an obscure maneuver to block it.

"I would really urge Mayor Lightfoot at the City Council meeting next week, along with the Council, to pass a referendum resolution putting the issue of mayoral term limits on the Chicago ballot," Quinn said.

Quinn said the poll also asked voters if Lightfoot deserved a second term. Only 26% said yes and 57% no, with 17% undecided.

Quinn said he may soon join the crowded field of candidates seeking to unseat Lightfoot.

"I’m going to spend the whole summer, uh, volunteering and passing petitions actually and going to parades, going to community meetings, helping taxpayers. And I’ll decide by the end of the summer," he said.

Quinn said if he does run, he'll focus on these issues.

"Protecting people and public safety is a very important issue. But other issues, you know, property taxes, the tax system, fighting for consumers," he said.

Quinn said he'll also hit what he called "price gouging" by big corporations, linking it to inflation.

Asked if Mayor Lightfoot had a response to Quinn’s term limits proposal, a spokesman for her said he had "nothing to share."