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Lightfoot scores two big endorsements — ‘Chuy’ Garcia, Jerry Joyce

U.S. Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia is endorsing mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot. | Sun-Times photos

It was a good day for mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot on the South Side.

Shortly before she marched in the South Side Irish Parade, Lightfoot received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia and former mayoral candidate Jerry Joyce.

“While some sections of the city prosper and thrive, other parts suffer high unemployment and much despair,” Garcia, standing alongside Lightfoot, said at a news conference Sunday morning at the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 headquarters in the Beverly neighborhood.

“I believe that she will become the change agent that Chicago needs so desperately at this critical juncture,” he said.

“I’m humbled and honored to receive his endorsement. This is an incredible day for the campaign,” Lightfoot said.

Garcia’s endorsement could prove to be key in securing Lightfoot votes in the city’s large Hispanic community.

Shortly after receiving a nod from Garcia, Lightfoot met with Joyce at Franconello, a nearby Italian restaurant, and received his backing as well.

Joyce finished seventh in the crowded mayoral race with just over 7 percent of voters favoring him — largely concentrated in portions of the Southwest Side.

The news comes on the heels of another important endorsement as the April 2 runoff against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle approaches.

On Thursday Lightfoot received the endorsement of 19th Ward Committeeman Matt O’Shea.

That endorsement expanded her base beyond the North Side and north lakefront into white ethnic neighborhoods dominated by police officers and firefighters.

Garcia, a former Cook County commissioner, ran for mayor in 2015, forcing a runoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.