CHICAGO — Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward), announced he is endorsing Paul Vallas in the race for Chicago mayor Wednesday.

“I am honored and flattered by his endorsement, and I really look forward to working with him, and being guided by him,” Vallas said.

With Tunney now by his side, Vallas is stepping up outreach to lakefront liberals and the LGBTQ+ community, constituencies that propelled Mayor Lori Lightfoot to victory four years ago. In the Feb. 2019 general election, Lightfoot won Tunney’s ward with 29% of the vote, then in the April runoff, garnered 80% of the area’s vote.

This year, Tunney believes his ward is up for grabs.

“The way I look at it is the lakefront is ground zero of this election,” Tunney said.

To date, Vallas’s campaign pitch has focused almost exclusively on crime. Backed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Vallas — if elected — is promising a safer Chicago.

“The situation where Paul talks about safety,” Tunney said. “Is the number one issue for residents and businesses alike.”

Vallas has taken fire from Lightfoot all throughout his campaign, who accuses him of preying on public safety fears.

“He has embraced an ethos of the right-wing and the FOP that is antithetical, I think, to the vast majority of voters in this city,” Lightfoot said.

Last night, Lightfoot took another shot at Vallas’s campaign during WGN-TV’s Chicago Mayoral Forum for waiting months to speak out after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

“You can’t get there, Mr. Vallas,” Lightfoot said. “By not respecting women and being silent and hedging on whether or not women have the right to bodily autonomy.”

Vallas has previously stated that he supports abortion rights and has hinted that he would like to find a role for Tunney in his administration.