Sneed has learned Gery Chico, a political powerhouse in Chicago’s Hispanic community, will announce his bid for the mayoral mantle on Thursday.

“Yes, I’m going to do it. I’ve decided,” Chico told Sneed Tuesday.

“I’m announcing my candidacy … not just putting out nominating petitions,” Chico said. “Chicago’s best days are in front of it, and I’m going to fight to make sure that happens.”

One of his biggest backers is Ald. Ray Lopez (15th). Chico also said he has the support of Ald. Ed Burke (14th).

“From humble beginnings to becoming a known leader in Chicago, Gery knows we are more than the product of our environment,” Lopez said.

“I am supporting Gery because he’s a shining example of what’s possible from one of the most challenged communities in Chicago.

“Being from Back of the Yards, Gery nows that violence should never replace the true story of every community. He would make confronting community violence the city’s top priority. Only then could Chicago be the global city we are meant to be.”

Chico was one of six candidates for mayor in 2011. Rahm Emanuel won that race with 55 percent of the vote; Chico had 24 percent.

Chico served as chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. 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.