Willie Wilson endorses Lori Lightfoot in Chicago mayoral race

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CHICAGO — Businessman Willie Wilson on Friday endorsed Lori Lightfoot in the run-off race for Chicago mayor.

Wilson said he conducted an unscientific online poll asking voters whom he should support. The overwhelming majority, he said, preferred Lightfoot to her opponent, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Wilson finished fourth in the 14-candidate mayoral election on Feb. 26 — winning the most support from black voters on the city’s South and West Sides.

The race’s two top vote-getters, Lightfoot and Preckwinkle, will face off in a run-off election April 2.

Preckwinkle held a news conference Friday, flanked by faith leaders who have given her their endorsements.

Preckwinkle’s campaign released a statement dismissing Wilson’s endorsement of Lightfoot — claiming that in exchange for his support, Wilson wanted guaranteed clout appointments and help retiring his personal campaign debt.

Wilson denied the allegations.

“Why do I need anyone to retire my debt?” he said.

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