CHICAGO — With less than three weeks left before election Election Day, Alderwoman Sophia King is talking tough after releasing her first television commercial.
“I’m Sophia King. If we reject false choices, we can tackle today’s violence and root causes,” King says in the advertisement. “We can uplift our police and hold them accountable.”
King is hoping her ad-buy helps jumpstart her campaign, but a new poll by Chicago Public Media has her stuck in neutral.
The survey shows a three-tier race, with Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia at the top with 20%, Paul Vallas in second place with 18%, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot keeping pace in third with 17% of those surveyed saying they would vote for her.
in the next group down sits Willie Wilson at 12%, and Brandon Johnson at 11%.
King rounds out with the remaining candidates — Ja’Mal Green, Kam Buckner and Roderick Sawyer — who polled at 2% or less.
“Everybody’s got a poll. We have a poll that has us at 8 percent,” King said.
While some candidates look to be performing better than others, 18% of voters in the poll said they are undecided, leaving open plenty of possibilities for candidates to make up ground.
“You have to remember that 18 percent the voters — at least in this current survey — say they’re undecided in this race,” said WGN political analyst Paul Lisnek. “That changes the game.”
As King fights for attention in the nine person contest, she said she is leaning into education and public safety.
“There are two professions where we throw everything at that we’re unable to solve, that’s police and teachers,” King said. “They’re leaving our city in droves, faster than we can higher them. We need them both and so we have to incentivize them to be in our community.”
A boon to King’s record on City Council is her contributions toward helping pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage increase in Chicago. Despite those contributions though, the Chicago Teachers Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 have endorsed other campaigns.
“I think labor, obviously the teachers union is a big special interest here and they’re backing one of their own,” King said. “I’m also not beholden to special interest. I mean — when you think about the money that’s in this campaign — it’s really the teacher’s union that’s controlling this campaign, Local 150 which is a suburban membership union.”
At this point four years ago, Mayor Lightfoot was polling in fourth place, showing the race is still very much up for grabs and anything is possible.