Eleven candidates are running for mayor of Chicago, Illinois, in the February 28, 2023, general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will take place on April 4, 2023. The filing deadline for this election was November 28, 2022.
Incumbent Lori Lightfoot, Jesus Garcia, and Brandon Johnson have received the most media attention and endorsements. The other candidates are Kambium Buckner, Frederick Collins, Ja’Mal Green, Sophia King, Johnny Logalbo, Roderick Sawyer, Paul Vallas, and Willie Wilson.
Lightfoot was elected mayor in 2019. Lightfoot won 17.5% of the vote in a 14-candidate field in the general election. In the runoff, she defeated Toni Preckwinkle 74% to 26%. Lightfoot has campaigned on her record as mayor, saying she “led the city through the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic with tough, fair leadership — all while keeping or overdelivering on campaign promises.” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D), U.S. Reps. Danny K. Davis (D), Robin Kelly (D), and Bobby Rush (D), two city aldermen, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed Lightfoot. Lightfoot is affiliated with the Democratic Party.
Garcia was elected to the U.S. House as a Democrat in 2018. Before serving in Congress, he was a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the Illinois Senate, and the Chicago City Council. Garcia said his time at multiple levels of government would help him serve as mayor. “Mark my words: my values and my commitment to build a better, more inclusive Chicago has never waivered. I’m the only candidate in the race with the experience of serving the city at every level of government,” he said. Four members of the state legislature, two city aldermen, and three railroad unions endorsed Garcia.
Johnson was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners as a Democrat in 2018. He was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools and an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). Johnson highlighted his experience in education and said he is “the only candidate who has been a leader in our communities in the fights for fully funded public schools, affordable housing, green jobs and access to mental health care.” U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez (D), two city aldermen, the CTU, and Service Employees International Union endorsed Johnson.
Although elections are officially nonpartisan, candidates are typically affiliated with one of the major political parties. Among the candidates, there are eight affiliated with the Democratic Party, one affiliated with the Republican Party, and two independents. The last Republican mayor of Chicago, William Thompson, left office in 1931.