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Ahead of debate, mayoral candidates pick up endorsements – including Chance the Rapper

CHICAGO — Mayoral candidates will once again face off in a debate Thursday night.  Ahead of the meeting, each candidate picked up endorsements.

Chance the Rapper endorsed Toni Preckwinkle in the race for Chicago mayor at a news conference Thursday.

The Grammy-winner previously endorsed mayoral candidate Amara Enyia, the director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. She finished in 6th place in the Feb. 26 election.

Now it appears Chance is realigning his views with his father, former city official Ken Bennett, who is Preckwinkle's campaign chairman.

He said he believes Preckwinkle is the most qualified candidate to serve the city of Chicago, and that he wants to do as much as possible to educate voters about her.

Preckwinkle faces Lori Lightfoot in a run-off election April 2.

Chance said he has met with a lot of activists over the past few weeks, and that's what led to his decision.

“The resounding voice has been that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable or safe going into a city where Lori Lightfoot sits on the 5th floor,” he said. “Her past record as a prosecutor has not been in the best interests of young black people in Chicago, hasn’t been entirely truthful, and even the campaign and the image she has created since the February election has been, like I just said, very untrue.”

Chance plans to campaign with Preckwinkle over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Lightfoot was endorsed by downtown alderman Brendan Reilly.

Thursday morning, Preckwinkle presided over a Cook County board meeting but took questions on the mayors race. Asked three different times if she is courting the endorsement of the Obamas, she gave a version of the same non-answer each time.

“I’m grateful for the endorsement we have,” she said. “I think there will be more over the next couple days.”

The Thursday night debate marks the will be the third time the two face off head to head. Each candidate is trying to position themselves not only as the most progressive candidate but the one who can bring about change to City Hall.

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