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Lightfoot takes aim at García over Madigan association, ComEd scheme: ‘Come clean’

CHICAGO — Emerging from a session with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot unloaded on mayoral challenger Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García.

“Congressman García has got to come clean with the voters of the city about what his connection is, not only to the now-disgraced, indicted, former [Michael Madigan] but also what his connection is to this evolving, deep ComEd scandal,” she said.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times reported that Garcia’s name is mentioned in a recorded phone conversation between indicted former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his longtime confidant Michael McClain. Garcia is not accused of wrongdoing but Madigan faces federal racketeering and bribery charges and McClain is accused of orchestrating an alleged bribery scheme by ComEd.

Garcia’s ties to Madigan are well-known in state politics. In 2016, Garcia endorsed Madigan’s reelection effort.

The Congressman brushed off Lightfoot’s punch. 

“I have nothing to do with ComEd or anyone seeking a position on the ComEd board,” García said. “I’ve been a critic of that utility and other utilities across Illinois. She is desperate. She is fabricating and trying to spin things that do not exist.”

Lightfoot, who is taking income fire from her rivals at candidate forums and burning through campaign money fast, has stepped up her attacks. In 2019, then-candidate Lightfoot, running as a reform-minded outsider, got a boost when Alderman Ed Burke was named in an attempted extortion case. 

For the first time during the campaign, Mayor Lightfoot’s team released their internal polling. It shows her leading the field but all of the other campaigns have her in third place or lower. Polling doesn’t matter; the voters start speaking when early voting kicks off on Thursday.