With a little more than nine months until the Chicago mayoral election, a seventh candidate has entered the race.
Paul Vallas joins a crowded field, hoping his credentials running school systems in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans – and years working on budgets in city hall – will distinguish him from the pack.
That pack (so far) also includes former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, principals’ union president Troy LaRaviere, businessman Willie Wilson, tech executive Neal Sales-Griffin, and activist Ja’mal Green. (Find our interviews with each of the candidates below.) And while he’s the frequent target of criticism from the announced contenders, Mayor Rahm Emanuel still has yet to formally declare his run for re-election.
During his campaign announcement Wednesday, Vallas says he believes his leadership is urgently needed in Chicago.
“We can’t wait to bring some financial stability and continuity and predictability to our financial situation,” Vallas said. “We can’t wait to implement the type of education reforms in our school system so we can begin growing that school system again. We can’t wait to get the lead out of the water of our city residents. We can’t wait to begin investing, really investing in job-creating opportunities … in communities where the vast majority of men are unemployed, and in many cases are unemployable.”
“I want to be mayor because I believe that I have the leadership that the city needs and that the city deserves.”
Vallas joins Chicago Tonight for a conversation about his candidacy.
More interviews with mayoral candidates: