Effort launched to draft Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to run for mayor

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Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza. | Rich Hein / Sun-Times

Susana Mendoza hasn’t ruled out running for mayor of Chicago.

Now someone is trying to sway her decision by forming a committee to draft her to run.

That someone is Marty Castro, former chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, who plans to launch the committee to get Mendoza, already running for re-election as Illinois comptroller, into next year’s mayor’s race.

Castro ran against incumbent U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez in the 2002 Democratic primary for the 4th Congressional District seat. Since then, Castro co-chaired the mayoral campaigns of Gery Chico in 2011 and Chuy Garcia in 2015. But this time around, “more is at stake than ever before,” Castro said in a statement.

Marty Castro wants Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to run for mayor.  | File photo

Marty Castro wants Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to run for mayor. | File photo

“For the 2019 race, I want to do whatever I can to ensure we have a Mayor with the skills, personal experience, passion and heart for the job,” according to a statement emailed to the Sun-Times. “That’s why I have put my support behind State Comptroller Susana Mendoza. She is battle-tested, not afraid to stand up to anyone for what’s right, versed in handling financial challenges, has served in municipal and state office, and has the integrity to bring transparency to city government.”

Mendoza served a Chicago’s city clerk and in the Illinois House of Representatives before being elected comptroller in 2016. Castro has personally spoken to Mendoza and urged her to run, much like Rep. Luis Gutierrez has approached Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. She has not committed and has not engaged with the draft committee, Castro said, but he and others will “work on building a movement to not only recruit her to run for mayor of Chicago” but also “to build the infrastructure she would need to hit the ground running at the right time.” They will also circulate petitions and enlist volunteers “in a grassroots effort to support her and we can’t wait to get started.”

Castro is a Chicago attorney and consultant for his company Castro Synergies. He was appointed by former President Barack Obama to chair the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. He was also the chair of the Illinois Human Rights Commission, appointed to that post by Gov. Pat Quinn.

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