Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson enters Chicago mayoral election to face Lightfoot, with CTU backing


CHICAGO (WLS) — The race for Chicago mayor just got a little more crowded.

The latest person to join the growing list of candidates is no stranger to Chicago politics.

On Thursday, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson officially announced his bid for mayor in the shadow of the Jenner Academy, where he once taught.

The 46-year-old was surrounded by his supporters, family and friends, as he made his long-awaited announcement.

The West Side resident, former educator and married father of three already has a million dollars from a progressive organization and endorsements from the Chicago Teachers Union and United Working Families.

RELATED: Mayoral election Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot campaign raises $1M in 3 months, spends over half of it

The latter threw their support behind Johnson after the progressive organization decided not to wait for another possible candidate, Congressman Chuy Garcia, to throw his hat in the ring.

During an interview with ABC7 Chicago a few weeks ago, while Johnson said the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers Union is great, it may not be enough. Two of the last mayoral candidates endorsed by CTU lost.

“That’s why I’m being very intentional about my announcement. The Chicago Teachers Union, as much power, of course, as they bring to the conversation, that’s not going to be enough,” he said.

During his announcement, Johnson vowed to remain committed to the city’s neighborhoods while addressing the issues of crime, affordable housing and education and other issues that Chicago’s diverse communities struggle with.

Those in the know say Johnson could have an uphill battle.

He’s relatively unknown, and will have to raise a lot of money and support to get his message out.

With Thursday’s announcement, Johnson joins at least nine people who have officially announced their candidacy for mayor, including Lori Lightfoot, who is running for reelection.

Lightfoot’s campaign said, “There’s no shortage of ambitious politicians trying to advance their own career right now, and we’ll put up Mayor Lightfoot’s progressive achievements versus Brandon Johnson’s thin resume any day of the week. In the case of Johnson, his campaign stands on one platform and one only: to defund the police department entirely. It’s easy to talk about what you would do-it’s another thing to be in the arena, doing the work every day to keep our city moving forward.”

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