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Ja’Mal Green drops out of the mayor’s race

Ja'Mal Green talks to reporters Monday at 69 W. Washington, as he announced he was dropping out of the race for mayor. | Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

The youngest candidate in the race for mayor, activist Ja’Mal Green, is calling it quits.

Green, 23, told reporters Monday that he just didn’t have the cash to “run a winning campaign.”

He said fighting challenges to the legitimacy of his petition signatures had cost his campaign “tens of thousands of dollars.”

Video by Ashlee Rezin and Eliza Davidson

“Over the past few weeks, we have endured a challenge process I would not wish on any campaign,” he said, speaking in the basement level of 69 West Washington.

On Friday, a document filed with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners showed that Green was withdrawing his name from the ballot.

But the next day, Green had insisted that he was still in the race as a write-in.

On Monday, Green said he’d learned a valuable lesson — that “everyday people drown in a system designed for the rich and powerful.”

Surrounded by his young family, Green said that, as an activist and candidate, he had a hand in shaking up the status quo in city politics — in the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting.

“A lot of people laughed at my ambition,” he said. “Over the past year, we have turned naysayers into believers. They saw a kid, until they heard our policies, until they saw our commitment … .”