Ald. Tom Tunney backs Paul Vallas for mayor – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Longtime Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney threw his support behind Paul Vallas for mayor on Wednesday, giving the former Chicago Public Schools CEO a boost in his second bid for City Hall’s top job.

“After careful consideration, today I am proud to share that I am endorsing and voting for Paul Vallas for Mayor of Chicago and urge all Chicagoans who care about public safety, public education and public finances to join me,” the 44th Ward alderman said in a prepared statement. “As a person who is socially progressive and fiscally responsible, the platform that Paul Vallas has for Chicago most closely aligns with what I believe, both as a member of the City Council for two decades and as a small business owner for forty years. Paul is the candidate who understands he can’t do all that needs to be done alone. I am confident that he will surround himself with the best people to advise and guide him through the next four years, and I’m proud to support him.”

Late last year, Tunney considered launching his own campaign for mayor but decided against it days before he was scheduled to announce his candidacy. Tunney’s name carries some weight with North Side residents, but the endorsement highlights a shift in Vallas’s political fortunes since his failed 2019 campaign for mayor, where he finished a distant ninth and failed to raise substantial money or generate meaningful support.

This time around, Vallas has raised millions of dollars and is considered a frontrunner candidate. Last week, he also received an endorsement from Northwest Side Ald. Anthony Napolitano. Vallas is the only white contender in a nine-candidate field.

In recent years, Vallas has made crime a top subject of his public profile. Vallas frequently delivers a firehose of social media posts about violence in Chicago, arguing it’s important to support the police and loosen restrictions on their work. His campaign advertisements focus heavily on crime and promise to keep people safe.

Last month, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Vallas for mayor. Although Chicago police and their supporters mark an important demographic in local elections, the FOP has long been criticized for defending police misconduct and local president John Catanzara in particular has been a lightning rod for controversy.

Tunney is part of Lightfoot’s City Council leadership team but is not seeking re-election after two decades as alderman. Asked about the endorsement, Lightfoot said Vallas and Tunney’s views are aligned but criticized Vallas’s stance on public safety issues as well as his relationship with the Chicago FOP.

“He is playing into people’s fears about public safety but not being honest about what his record is,” Lightfoot said

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