Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia will not run for mayor of Chicago

CHICAGO — Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia will not run for mayor of Chicago.

Four years ago, Garcia forced Rahm Emanuel into Chicago’s first-ever mayoral runoff.

Just this weekend, 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Munoz projected an image representing Garcia’s mustache on Chicago’s buildings in an effort to encourage him to run.

Instead, Garcia is focusing on running for retiring Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s seat.

“I sincerely believe I can do more for my city now in Washington. This decision is not about ascendancy or political positioning; it is about integrity and what I feel I can do for my city in Congress,” Garcia said in a statement.

The announcement is expected to boost support for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s mayoral campaign.

See Garcia’s full message below:

“I’ve seen the mustaches projected on the buildings — and I can’t thank you enough for your faith and confidence in urging me to run for mayor of the city we all love. A special thank you to the hundreds of volunteers circulating petitions for me to run. I am truly moved.

“The last few weeks have been a time of internal reckoning. My preparation to go to Congress was, for a moment, halted at the news that the city would have a wide-open opportunity to elect a new mayor. I’ll admit I was tempted to make another run — the last run shook things up and I believe led to a major shift in recent city and state elections, namely Aaron Ortiz, Alma Anaya, Beatriz Frausto-Sandoval and Delia Ramirez. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“I love this city. I love its complexity, its diversity, energy and its ever-changing issues and opportunities. It’s also a city in deep crisis with savage inequality and broken relationships between communities and police and of course continuing fiscal problems.

“But in the final analysis, I sincerely believe I can do more for my city now in Washington. This decision is not about ascendancy or political positioning; it is about integrity and what I feel I can do for my city in Congress.

“Chicago desperately needs federal help to tackle our infrastructure and transportation issues. Our city’s immigration crisis can be solved only by Congress. Guaranteeing the rights of women and gay citizens and other minorities will be secured only through congressional action.

“Chicago needs a mayor who is beholden to no one. We need mayors and congressional representatives who are persuaded by one thing: the best idea in the room. And we need lots of best ideas, whether in the form of a Marshall Plan or something better, we need bold ideas that will improve education, public safety, health care, infrastructure, transportation and whatever it takes to bring economic vitality into neighborhoods that are breeding grounds of hopelessness. We can no longer abide hearing a teenage boy say he doesn’t expect to live past 25.

“I look forward to the election on November 6. To be in Washington at a time when I can oppose the direction the Trump administration is taking this country is a calling I am compelled and invigorated to take on. Dreamers are waiting for Congress to act; immigrants who have so much to offer our nation are waiting for Congress to act; citizens who have still not recovered from the recession are waiting for Congress to act. I’m ready to get to work.

“To Chicago’s next mayor, I say this: you must make bold changes that will unsettle those comfortable with the status quo. Only through a transformational agenda with deep neighborhood investment will Chicago become a city that works for everyone.”