Chicago mayoral election takes place next week

Nine candidates are running for mayor of Chicago, Illinois on Feb. 28. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will take place on April 4. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, first elected in 2019, is running for re-election.

The candidates to perform best in polling and receive the most endorsements are Lightfoot, U.S. Rep. Jesus Garcia, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.

Among recent polling, no candidate has cleared the majority bar to avoid a runoff. Vallas and Lightfoot have consistently performed in the low 20s and upper teens, with Garcia and Johnson also polling between 10% and 20%.

Based on campaign finance reports filed through Q4 2022, businessman Willie Wilson led all candidates in fundraising with $6.1 million ($5 million of which was self-funded), followed by Lightfoot with $4.5 million, Vallas with $2.2 million, Johnson with $1.8 million, and Garcia with $1.5 million.

Eight of the nine candidates in this election are affiliated with the Democratic Party and the ninth (Wilson) is an independent. The last Republican mayor of Chicago, William Thompson, left office in 1931.