Mayoral Candidates

A look at the candidates for the February 28th Chicago mayoral election

Ja’Mal Green

Ja’Mal Green is a community activist from Chicago who previously ran for mayor in 2019, he is a member of the Democratic Party. His top priorities are public safety, modernizing city government, economic development, and climate change. Green owns a marketing company and is a published author. When asked whether he would re-establish a standalone Department of Environment, Green said, “[Yes], I am the only candidate in the race with a proposal for a city-wide Green New Deal. We will usher in green economy jobs, create sustainable neighborhoods from the ground up, fix our lead crisis, address polluters, and more.” 


Sophia King

Sophia King is the current alderwoman for the 4th ward, serving Bronzville, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, and South Loop. King is a member of the Democratic party. She has been a member of the Chicago City Council since 2016 and is 57 years old. King received a masters in education from Northwestern University and a masters from University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. When asked whether she would reopen any of the city’s shuttered mental health clinics, King said, “I am strongly against draconian cuts to public services that negatively impact our communities and disproportionately impact black, brown and disabled communities especially when it comes to mental health services.”


Kam Buckner

Kambium “Kam” Buckner is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives. If elected, Buckner promises to invest more into Chicago schools and safety. Buckner’s mother was a CPS teacher, and his father was a law enforcement officer. He grew up on Chicago’s South Side. In response to the epidemic of police suicides Buckner said, “The undue burden on police officers in recent years is unacceptable. Officers are entitled to days off, fair working hours and mental health support. A recent report shows that CPD has failed to prioritize officer wellness and compliance with the majority of mandated consent decree reforms.”


Willie Wilson

Willie Wilson is a businessman and politician. He ran in the 2016 Chicago Mayoral election under the Wilie Willson party, the 2016 United States presidential election, and for the United States Senate in 2020. When all candidates were asked whether or not they would support spending $2 billion on renovating Soldier Field, Wilson was the only candidate who answered “yes”. Wilson said, “The investment in keeping the Chicago Bears in Chicago would be recouped in a few years. The concessions and other events would drive significant tax revenue. Also, we would be eligible to host the Super Bowl.”


Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson is a Democratic member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, representing the first district. Johnson is a CPS teacher and is backed by the CTU. If he is elected mayor, he promises to promote equity in CPS: “Since the desegregation decree was vacated (2008), the percentage of low income Black and Brown students enrolled in selective enrollment schools has plummeted. Parents and students should have a range of school options, but we need to fund all schools equitably, and ensure that all families are receiving access to a world class education.” said Johnson. 


Paul Vallas

Paul Vallas is the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and Philadelphia Public Schools. He is also the former budget manager of Chicago. Vallas is 69 years old and was born in Chicago. Vallas promises to provide equal education for all, no matter the zip code. He also emphasizes reducing crime in all neighborhoods. When asked about whether or not he supports closing under-enrolled schools Vallace said, “[Yes] we need to occupy those buildings and the first thing we can do to occupy these buildings is expanding our network of alternative schools so that we can recapture those teenagers and young adults who have left school. We need to open up adult training and occupational centers in Chicago to help adults who need to be trained.”


Lori Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot is the current mayor of Chicago. She emphasized the development of the South and West sides during her service as mayor. Opponents are against Lightfoot’s handling of the Chicago Police Department and her tumultuous relationship with the CTU. When asked about whether or not she would increase property taxes Lightfoot answered no. “Chicagoans deserve predictability, stability, and the end of gimmicks like scoop and toss, asset sales, or other accounting games which only cost taxpayers more. This year, we were able to skip a property tax increase because our budget had enough revenue to cover pension costs without it.” said Lightfoot. 


Roderick Sawyer

Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer was elected to represent the 6th Ward of Chicago in April of 2011. Sawyer promotes stronger neighborhoods and work ethic among Chicagoans. When asked if he thinks guns have a place in schools Sawyer answered yes. “If the school wants them. I was the lead sponsor of the ordinance to give Local School Councils the choice on whether to have school officers. My study of the data and learning about the individual experiences of some of the children who engaged with the officers showed a wide variety of outcomes. Some were positive, many were negative. I want LSCs to make this decision based on the needs of the children in each individual school.” said Sawyer. 


Jesús “Chuy” García

Jesús “Chuy” García is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Illinois’s 4th district. García is 66 years old and was born in Durango, Mexico. García moved to Pilsen when he was six years old. He currently serves as a member of the Financial Services Committee, Natural Resources Committee, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He is an advocate for workers rights, universal healthcare, and immigrant rights. When asked about homelessness in Chicago, García said, “We can work collaboratively to make this a sustainable program that achieves its intended purpose to pull people out of poverty. I will also not tie it to a volatile funding source.”


All information is from:

(n.d.). Go Green Chicago, Ja’Mal Green for Mayor. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

(n.d.). Kam Buckner for Mayor of Chicago. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

(n.d.). Elect Willie Wilson for Mayor of Chicago. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

(n.d.). Brandon Johnson for Mayor of Chicago. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

(n.d.). Home | Vallas For Mayor of Chicago. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

(n.d.). Home • Lightfoot for Chicago. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

(n.d.). Representative Jesus Garcia |Representing the 4th District of Illinois. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

Bio. (n.d.). 6 Ward. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

Chicago mayoral candidates answer 23 questions. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2023, from

King, S. (n.d.). Sophia King for Chicago | A Strong Chicago is a Safe Chicago. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from