Garry McCarthy ‘standing by’ on Rahm challenge — but jumping into fundraising

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Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy (left) and Rahm Emanuel. | Sun Times file photos

Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is planning to hold a fundraiser next month for a potential challenge to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but McCarthy says his mind isn’t yet set on taking the plunge.

McCarthy served as the city’s top cop between 2011 and 2015 and was ousted by Emanuel after the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video. With $2.25 million in his war chest, Emanuel faces no serious challengers as of yet. But his election is more thana year away.

McCarthy’s fundraiser is scheduled for Feb. 11 at the Irish American Heritage Center on the Northwest Side, with tickets ranging from $100 to $5,000.

“I’m still standing by,” McCarthy told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday, adding he’s weighing the financial and personal decisions involved with running.

“I’m talking to my family and making decisions about my finances, and so on,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy’s campaign fund has about $44,000 in it, according to campaign finance filings. A quarterly filing is due on Jan. 15.

McCarthy in September filed withthe Illinois State Board of Elections to create The Garry McCarthy For Mayor Exploratory Committee.

Last April, McCarthy said“a lot of people” were encouraging him to run for mayor in 2019, but politics is “not in my DNA” and he’s “not very good at that.”

McCarthy has been vocal since Emanuel fired him in December 2015, saying he had become “a distraction” in the aftermath of the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video.

“The problem in Chicago is not the police,” McCarthy said last year. “It’s illegitimate government. It’s politics. It’s doing the same things that we’ve always done and expecting different results. Which I believe Einstein said is insanity.”

McCarthy has also called the Justice Department report on Chicago Police Department tactics — issued in the waning days of the Obama administration — “politically motivated” and off base.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy appear at a news conference in 2015, announcing first-degree murder charges against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the Oct. 24, death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. (AP File Photo/Charl

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy appear at a news conference in 2015, announcing first-degree murder charges against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the Oct. 24, death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. (AP File Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Last July, McCarthy told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed that he was also being encouraged to run for Cook County sheriff, though he was “not considering it.”

“I’m not considering anything now,” McCarthy said at the time. “People have talked to me about running for mayor, but if I had to make a decision on running for mayor right now — this second — the decision would be ‘no.’”

Since his ouster, McCarthy was also pulled into the divorce case between former Ald. Sandi Jackson and former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

McCarthy and two other men were subpoenaed by Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorneys in January, demanding any emails, phone records or social media contacts the three had with Sandi Jackson.

McCarthy’s attorney has said the subpoena was “unwarranted’ and argued that he had “absolutely nothing to do with” with the contentious divorce.

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