An Updated Endorsement Guide for Chicago’s 2023 Mayoral Election – NBC Chicago

Chicago mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson continue to vie for endorsements from political leaders in the city and the country with less than two weeks to go before the election, with some eye-catching names throwing their support behind the campaigns.

Vallas and Johnson qualified for the second round of elections out of a field of nine candidates, including incumbent mayor Lori Lightfoot. According to data from the Chicago Board of Elections, Vallas received 32.9% of the vote in the first round, while Johnson won 21.63% of the vote.

Although more than half of Chicago City Council members cast endorsements in the first round of this year’s mayoral election, many are now being courted by the two remaining candidates in the race, as both aim to shore up their support.

Vallas, the first runner-up in last month’s election, entered the second round with endorsements from Downtown City Council members Brendan Reilly and Brian Hopkins, while also receiving support from Far Northwest Side Ald. Longtime Anthony Napolitano and Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney.

To kick off the runoff campaign, Vallas received endorsements from former Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and former mayoral candidate and 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer, the former of whom backed Lightfoot in the first round.

In the weeks that followed, Vallas received support from several other city council members, former mayoral challenger Ja’Mal Green and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

As for Johnson, endorsements from the Chicago Teachers Union, United Working Families and several progressive city council members helped propel his campaign to prominence and ultimately a second-place finish in the first round of mayoral elections.

Since then, Johnson has continued to consolidate support from much of the city’s top center-left political leadership, receiving endorsements from Cook County Council Speaker Toni Preckwinkle and Congressman Danny Davis.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also backed Johnson, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders-backed group Our Revolution.

The endorsements could give a critical boost to the two candidates, who both seek to build the broad coalition that will likely be needed to emerge victorious in the April 4 runoff.

The groups included in this guide

-The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 educators in the city and describes its mission as “dedicated to the advancement and promotion of quality public education, the improvement of teaching conditions and the learning and the protection of members’ rights”.

-The International Union of Lift Builders is a trade union representing over 25,000 workers in the lift construction, modernization and repair profession.

-SEIU Healthcare is a union representing healthcare, child care, home care and nursing home workers in four Midwestern states, including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

-SEIU Local 1 represents more than 50,000 workers in the Midwest, with janitors, security guards, airport workers, food service workers and more, according to its website. His endorsements are split between the union’s local chapter and the Illinois State Council, according to a press release, and we noted which union division endorsed which candidate.

– SEIU Local 73 represents over 31,000 workers, mostly in public service and publicly funded positions. He says he chooses nominees to endorse those who “best support the issues of working families.”

-Sierra Club Illinois Chapter is the state chapter of the national environmental advocacy organization, promoting sustainable practices and expanding environmental protections.

-Equality Illinois is the oldest LGBTQ+ rights and advocacy organization in the state, and was originally founded as the Illinois Federation for Human Rights.

– The Illinois Nurses Association is a group that “advocates for nursing as a whole” and works to elevate nursing priorities in legal and regulatory decisions.

-United Working Families is a group “dedicated to building infrastructure and people-centered campaigns,” including lobbying for well-paying jobs, quality public education and affordable housing, according to its website.

– Local 704 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents nearly 1,000 Environmental Protection Agency employees throughout the Midwest.

-Armenian National Committee for America, a national organization that advocates for visibility on issues relevant to Armenian Americans.

– AFSCME Council 31 represents public sector employees in the City of Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

-Plumbers Local 130 represents hundreds of plumbing professionals in the Chicago area.

– International Union of Operations Engineers Local 150 “represents approximately 23,000 men and women working in various construction and other industries” in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa , according to its website.

– The National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United is the largest union of registered nurses in the United States

NOTE: We will continue to update this list as new mentions become available. If your organization made endorsements in the 2023 municipal election, email

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson:

City council members (district shown in parentheses, * indicates Ald.-elected):

  • Daniel La Spata (1st)
  • Pat Dowell (3rd)
  • Julia Ramirez* (12th)
  • Jeanette Taylor (20th)
  • Howard Brookins Jr (21st)
  • Michael Rodriguez (22nd) (García endorsed in the first round)
  • Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th)
  • Jessie Fuentes* (26th)
  • Jason Ervin (28th) (first-round Lightfoot approved)
  • Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd)
  • Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th)
  • Andre Vasquez (40th) (approved García in the first round)
  • Matt Martin (47th)
  • Maria Hadden (49th)

US Senators and Representatives (District shown in parentheses):

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt.)
  • Representative Jonathan Jackson (IL-1)
  • Rep. Delia Ramirez (IL-3)
  • Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-4) (former mayoral candidate)
  • Rep. Danny Davis (IL-7) (first-round Lightfoot approved)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) (approved García in the first round)
  • Representative Jim Clyburn (SC-6)
  • Representative Jamaal Bowman (NY-16)
  • Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-2)
  • Representative Troy Carter (LA-2)
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-7)

City and county officials:

  • Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board Chair
  • City of Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin (endorsed Lightfoot in the first round)
  • Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer
  • Cook County Commissioner Josina Morita
  • Cook County Commissioner Anthony Joel Quezada
  • Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore
  • Cook County Review Commissioner Samantha Steele

State officials:

  • Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Senators and State Representatives:

  • Senator Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford
  • Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas
  • Senator Mattie Hunter
  • Senator Mike Simmons
  • Senator Robert Peters
  • Senator Ram Villivalam (endorsed García in the first round)
  • Senator Omar Aquino
  • Senator Robert Martwick
  • Senator Elgie Sims
  • Representative Justin Slaughter
  • Rep. Kam Buckner (first-round mayoral candidate)
  • Rep. Lakesia Collins
  • Rep. Mary Flowers
  • Representative Will Guzzardi
  • Rep. Lilian Jiménez
  • Rep. Kelly Cassidy (approved Lightfoot in the first round)
  • Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. (first-round García endorsed)

Notable individuals:

  • Former U.S. Shadow Senator, Reverend Jesse Jackson (DC)
  • Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun (Ill.)
  • Former U.S. Representative Marie Newman (IL-3) (approved Lightfoot in first round)
  • Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss
  • Former Cook County Clerk and Chicago Acting Mayor David Orr (first-round García endorsed)
  • Mayor of Little Rock, Ark. Frank Scott Jr.
  • Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock
  • Mayor of Newport News, Virginia Phillip Jones

Groups and unions:

  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Chicago Teachers Union
  • Illinois Federation of Teachers
  • Service Employees International Union Locals 1, 73
  • Employee Services International Health Union
  • United working families
  • Sierra Club Illinois Chapter
  • Equality Illinois (approved Lightfoot in first round)
  • Illinois Nurses Association
  • American Federation of Government Employees Local 704
  • National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United
  • Chicago Colleges and Universities Unions
  • Commuters Take Action (First Round Buckner Approved)
  • Starbucks United Illinois workers
  • popular action
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 743

Former CEO of CPS Paul Vallas:

City council members (district shown in parentheses, * indicates Ald.-elected):

  • Brian Hopkins (2nd)
  • Roderick Sawyer (6th) (former mayoral candidate)
  • Michelle Harris (8th) (approved Lightfoot in the first round)
  • Anthony Beale (9th)
  • Nicole Lee (11th)
  • Raymond Lopez (15th) (Wilson approved in the first round)
  • David Moore (17th) (approved King in the first round)
  • Derrick Curtis (18th)
  • Matthew O’Shea (19th)
  • Silvana Tabares (23rd)
  • Roberto Maldonado (26th)
  • Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) (approved Lightfoot in first round)
  • Ariel Reboyras (30th)
  • Felix Cardona Jr. (31st) (first-round García endorsed)
  • Emma Mitts (37th) (approved Lightfoot in the first round)
  • Nicholas Sposato (38th)
  • Samantha Nugent (39th)
  • Antoine Napolitano (41st)
  • Brendan Reilly (42nd)
  • Tom Tunney (44th)
  • Bennett Lawson* (44th)
  • Debra Silverstein (50th)

Senators and State Representatives:

  • Representative Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar

City and county officials:

  • Iris Martinez, clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court

Notable individuals:

  • Jesse White, former Illinois Secretary of State
  • Former US Secretary of Education, CEO of CPS Arne Duncan
  • Businessman and former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson
  • Community activist and former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green
  • Former Illinois State Board of Education Chairman, mayoral candidate Gery Chico
  • Emil Jones, former President of the Illinois State Senate
  • Former Congressman Bobby Rush (IL-1) (first-round Lightfoot endorsed)
  • Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (first-round endorsed García)
  • Former State Senator Antonio Munoz

Groups and unions:

  • Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7
  • International Union of Elevator Builders Local 2
  • Illinois LGBT Chamber of Commerce
  • Armenian National Committee of America
  • Plumbers Union Local 130 (Lightfoot approved in first round)
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Locales 150, 399 (García approved in first round)
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Locals 9, 134
  • Chicago Ironworkers Union District Council
  • Local Fire Department 2
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Latino Leadership Council (García approved in first round)
  • Chicagoland Apartment Association
  • Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Illinois Manufacturers Association
  • Illinois Retail Merchants Association
  • Gasworkers Local 18007 (García approved in first round)
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Cook County Democratic Women


  • Chicago Grandstand
  • Chicago Gazette

NBC Chicago

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