Chicago Business Groups Brace for Next Mayor

As mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel has defined himself as an ally to the business community which, in turn, helped financially support his two mayoral campaigns.

Emanuel has pursued ambitious business and development plans, like the massive Lincoln Yards project and the ambitious O’Hare express train idea

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He helped woo major corporations like McDonald’s and Kraft Heinz to build headquarters in Chicago.

But after two mayoral terms, Emanuel is on his way out.

His successor will be Chicago’s first African-American female mayor – either attorney Lori Lightfoot or Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, who face each other in an April 2 runoff election.

Lightfoot comes from the private sector as a corporate attorney – something her opponent has highlighted as a negative – although Lightfoot hasn’t gone into specifics on how she’d tackle Chicago’s pension debt crisis and other fiscal challenges.

Preckwinkle has plenty of budgetary experience as the county’s president, but she’s also indicated she isn’t afraid to raise taxes – like the repealed soda tax. That predilection might make business owners bristle.

Joining us to offer their perspectives as leaders of Chicago business groups are Jack Lavin, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; and Elliot Richardson, founder and president of the Small Business Advocacy Council.

Note: This story will be updated with video.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia

Related stories:

Chicago Planning Commissioner David Reifman on Making Big Plans

Preckwinkle Questions Lightfoot’s Progressive Credentials

Lightfoot Accuses Preckwinkle Campaign of Spreading False Rumors

Lightfoot vs. Preckwinkle in Chicago Mayoral Runoff

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