Declaring Chicago a "city in crisis," former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas has entered the race for mayor to unseat incumbent Lori Lightfoot, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Vallas, 69, becomes the sixth candidate to enter the mayor's race with the election just nine months away. Others in the field are state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago), Ald. RayLopez (15th), media owner DJ Doran, police officer Frederick Collins and millionaire businessman Willie Wilson. Lopez and Doran are openly gay.
Two better-known and potential candidatesformer U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago)will not run, even though their private polls showed the race against Lightfoot was winnable. Without revealing specifics, Vallas claims to have similar polling.
Talking with the Sun-Times, Vallas said of Lightfoot, "My issue with her is her competency. She cannot manage the city. She has no clear vision. She does not have the management skills. When it comes to her own personnel, she doesn't inspire the type of loyalty [needed]. She certainly doesn't empower her people to make decisions."
Vallas, who was also once the CEO of Chicago State University, ran for mayor in 2018 as well. He also ran for governor in 2002 (losing to Rod Blagojevich) and was the lieutenant governor candidate alongside Pat Quinn in 2014 (with Quinn losing to Bruce Rauner).