Former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson on Thursday endorsed Jesus “Chuy” Garcia at a press conference at the Chicago Baptist Institute on the South Side, where he is chairman of the board of trustees.
When asked how many votes he can deliver to Garcia in his runoff next month against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Wilson responded, to cheers: “Enough votes to say that this is the next mayor of the city of Chicago.”
Wilson’s endorsement may provide the bump that Garcia needs in the African-American community, where Garcia garnered less than one-quarter of the votes overall. Though Wilson received less than 11 percent of the vote citywide, he won up to 30 percent of the vote in some of the city’s 18 majority-black wards.
The black-majority wards have more votes “up for grabs”—more people who voted for one of the three losing candidates in the first round of the election—than the other 32 wards combined. But Garcia will need more than just the 50,960 votes Wilson won to take over the mayor’s office: He was 78,689 votes from receiving more than 50 percent in the first election.
The other losing candidates haven’t yet said who they will endorse in the April 7 runoff election. Ald. Bob Fioretti, who received 7.4 percent of the vote, said on election night that he would endorse Garcia but has since back-peddled.
William “Dock” Walls, who received just 2.7 percent of the vote, hasn’t indicated who he will endorse.