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Gutierrez announces he will not run for Chicago mayor

CHICAGO — Longtime Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez isn’t joining the potentially crowded race for Chicago mayor, but says he’ll support the candidate who forced outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff election in 2015.

Gutierrez announced his decision Wednesday, a little more than two weeks after Emanuel upended the 2019 mayoral race by dropping his bid for a third term.

“I must humbly decline,” he told reporters at a press conference.

Gutierrez said late last year that he wouldn’t seek re-election to the congressional seat he first won in 1992.

He says he’ll support Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for mayor. Garcia won the Democratic primary in March to replace Gutierrez in Congress. Garcia hasn’t said whether he’ll run again for mayor.

Gutierrez is a leading member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and has pushed for federal aid to help rebuild Puerto Rico. Gutierrez says he intends to follow through with focusing on helping the island recover from last year’s hurricane damage.