Gery Chico on Chicago mayor’s race: ‘Not in yet, but I’m strongly considering’

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Mayoral candidate Gery Chico tours Chinatown during his 2011 mayoral campaign. | Sun-Times file photo

Gery Chico is considering taking a second swing at running for mayor, joining the long list of people now vying for, or considering, the city’s highest political office after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday he would not seek a third term.

“I’m not in yet, but I’mstrongly considering and I should know in a few days,” Chico said. “I’m very pleased about the encouragement I’m getting so far … the pieces of the puzzle are already falling into place.”

When Mayor Richard M. Daley decided not to seek a seventh term, Chico and five others, including Emanuel, ran to succeed him. Emanuel won with a little over 55 percent of the vote — Chico, who was heavily endorsed by organized labor unions, placed second in the race with about 24 percent of the vote.

Chico served aschief of staff to Daley from 1992 to 1995. He’s also a former Chicago Public Schools board president, serving from 1995 to 2001. From 2007 to 2010, he served as president of the Chicago Park District’s board of commissioners.

Chico has also served as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education and City Colleges of Chicago.

Chico said he believes Chicago’s “best days are ahead of it.” Should he run, he said, he would focus on lowering crime, continued investment in schools and making sure the city isn’t just a draw for tourists, but also for international corporate development.

“With my experiences I think I know what it takes,” Chico said. “And I know I can do it.”


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