Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot bested a crowded field to win her first term in office in 2019, and it appears that she will have to do so again in 2023.
As of Thursday, there are eight candidates who have officially declared their intentions to run against Lightfoot, including Ald. Sophia King, who jumped into the race this week.
Several other candidates are still mulling potential runs, including Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, who lost in a runoff against former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2015.
Here is a current list of candidates, as well as those who have opted against running.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Lightfoot announced earlier this year that she will seek reelection next spring. She finished in the top-two of voting in 2019, then defeated Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to secure the office in the run-off race.
State Rep. Kam Buckner
Buckner represents Illinois’ 26th District in the state House, an office he’s held since 2019. He is also the chair of the Illinois House Black Caucus.
CPD Officer Frederick Collins
Collins has worked for the Chicago Police Department for nearly 30 years, according to his campaign website. He also has worked as a community activist and has volunteered for a slew of organizations.
Community Activist Ja’Mal Green
Green, a community activist who has engaged in numerous causes around the city, is best-known for his work in raising money for small businesses and in helping Chicago residents to become homeowners through the agency My Turn to Own.
Ald. Sophia King
King was appointed to the City Council in 2016, and is the chair of the Progressive Reform Caucus. Her ward includes portions of Bronzeville, Hyde Park and the South Loop.
Ald. Ray Lopez
Lopez was elected to the City Council from the 15th Ward in 2015. His ward includes West Englewood, Brighton Park and Back of the Yards. He has frequently been a fierce critic of Lightfoot, especially on law enforcement issues.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer
Sawyer represents Chicago’s 6th Ward in the City Council, serving as the chairman of the Health and Human Relations Committee. He also formerly served as the head of the African-American Caucus.
Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas
Valas ran for mayor in 2019, placing ninth, and has also run for lieutenant governor of Illinois, losing to Evelyn Sanguinetti in 2014. He served as CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001 under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Businessman and Philanthropist Dr. Willie Wilson
Wilson has run for numerous offices in his career, including a Chicago mayoral run in 2019. He also has gained notoriety for his gas and food giveaways in 2022.
Who’s Mulling a Run:
Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García
García ran an unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2015, then ultimately ran for Congress, replacing Luis Gutierrez in 2019.
Former Gov. Pat Quinn
Quinn succeeded impeached former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, then won reelection to his position in 2010. He was defeated by former Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2014, then ran an unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 2018.
FOP President John Catanzara
Catanzara had previously said that he would potentially seek to challenge Lightfoot after he retired from the Chicago Police Department during a disciplinary hearing, but now says he will instead focus on reelection to his position with FOP.
Former Sec. of Education Arne Duncan
Duncan replaced Vallas as CEO of Chicago Public Schools in 2001, and eventually was confirmed by the Senate to serve as former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education in 2009. Duncan ultimately opted not to run for mayor, saying that he would instead focus on his non-profit work.
Rep. Mike Quigley
Quigley replaced Emanuel in Congress when he became Obama’s chief of staff. He mulled a run for mayor this year, but instead opted to remain in Congress, citing his work in helping the U.S. respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.