Gutierrez daughter preparing to challenge Reboyras, creating dilemma for Emanuel

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Jessica Washington Gutierrez (center) was with her mother Soraida when her father, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), announced last year that he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term. Now she plans to announce on Monday a run for the City Council, challenging an alderman who is among Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s staunchest supporters. | Getty Images

The daughter of retiring U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez is lining up support for a campaign against incumbent Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th), creating a political dilemma for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A campaign by Jessica Washington Gutierrez would force Emanuel to choose between the daughter of the wildly popular Hispanic politician who co-chaired the mayor’s 2015 re-election campaign and a City Council ally who has done heavy lifting for the mayor on the volatile issue of police reform.

Neither Jessica Washington Gutierrez nor Reboyras could be reached for comment. Luis Gutierrez was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

Three Hispanic politicians told the Chicago Sun-Times that Jessica Washington Gutierrez had called them in recent days seeking their support for a campaign against Reboyras.

“Oh boy. It’s a difficult situation to be in,” said an Emanuel confidant, who asked to remain anonymous.

Forced to choose between Jessica Washington Gutierrez and Ariel Reboyras, Emanuel is almost certain to choose Reboyras, the mayoral confidant said.

“I can’t see how he wouldn’t be supportive of Ariel. He’s a committee chairman and he’s been great. It would be hard to not be with someone in leadership who’s been great,” the Emanuel confidant said.

Another mayoral adviser agreed that the candidacy of Jessica Washington Gutierrez puts Emanuel “in a real box.”

That’s particularly true when you consider the fact that Emanuel has been courting Hispanics — and fighting President Donald Trump — to make up for a precipitous drop in support from African-Americans furious about his handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting video.

“The mayor has a strong relationship with both of them. It’s not easy to do one or the other,” the mayoral ally said. “Luis co-chaired the mayor’s last campaign. He’s a big supporter. Ariel is one of Rahm’s top Hispanics in the City Council and chairman of Public Safety. It creates a real dilemma.”

The Emanuel adviser wondered aloud whether an aldermanic campaign by Jessica Washington Gutierrez was “another piece” of the 11th-hour deal that saw Luis Gutierrez announce his retirement days before the filing deadline and throw his support to now-Democratic Congressional nominee Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

“That may not have been a one-for-one type thing. … If Chuy endorses her, it’s obviously part of the arrangement,” the second mayoral adviser said.

Garcia said he has “known Jessica since she was a baby,” considers her a “great young lady” and “has heard” that she’s considering a race for a City Council seat.

But Garcia said: “There were no deals on who to support for what office then or thereafter.”

Referring to Luis Gutierrez, Garcia said: “He did not make any commitments to support any of the candidates I supported in the last round. … He did endorse them, but they were not discussed when I made the decision to run for Congress. Similarly, we did not discuss races for the City Council.”

Garcia was asked whether he plans to support Jessica Gutierrez in a race against Reboyras.

“I have not thought about it sufficiently. It’s quite early,” he said.

“I’ve known Jessica most of her life — since she was a baby. She’s a great young lady. … There are likely to be more millennials seeking office to the City Council, the state legislature and all over the place. That’s a positive development.”

During Emanuel’s days as White House chief of staff, Luis Gutierrez accused Emanuel of standing in the way of immigration reform and being singularly responsible for President Barack Obama’s failure to deliver on his campaign promise to Hispanics.

Gutierrez retaliated by endorsing mayoral candidate Gery Chico over Emanuel.

Four years later, Gutierrez co-chaired Emanuel’s re-election campaign, thanks, in large part, to the mayor’s decision to join Gutierrez as a champion of immigration reform.

Emanuel desperately needs the popular Gutierrez to be in his corner again to stand any chance of persuading Chicagoans to give him a third chance.

The 30th Ward is roughly 65.5 percent Hispanic, 28 percent white and 2.3 percent African-American. It includes the neighborhoods of Belmont Cragin, Portage Park and Irving Park.

Reboyras is about to embark on yet another round of public hearings across the city. This time, the goal will be to craft a politically palatable plan for civilian police review from among four pending proposals. Two of them were introduced by Reboyras and are purely advisory. One would empower an elected board to fire the police superintendent and establish police policy.

And the fourth would abolish the Police Board, get rid of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and replace both with an elected 22-member council.

Reboyras has branded the fourth proposal “too egregious” and said it doesn’t have the 26 votes needed for passage.

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