U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García ran for mayor in 2015, challenging Rahm Emanuel as the candidate handpicked by Chicago’s progressive unions. Born in Durango, Mexico, García was a young protegé of Latino community activist Rudy Lozano, who was a budding political star before he was killed by a gang member. With Harold Washington’s help, García won election as 22nd Ward Democratic committeeman in 1984. Garcia was elected aldermen and then state senator before being defeated by Hispanic allies of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley. After running for the Cook County Board, Garcia ran against Emanuel and became a progressive folk hero. He jumped from the Cook County Board to the U.S. Congress in 2018 after Rep. Luis Gutierrez retired, where Garcia formed an alliance with now-indicted Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and became an influential power broker in state politics.
Born: Durango, Mexico
Personal: Married to Evelyn Chinea-Garcia, three children
Education: Bachelor’s degree and master’s in urban public planning and policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
Neighborhood: Little Village
Current job: Congressman
Government experience: Elected 22nd ward committeeman in 1984, won a special election for City Council in 1986, was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1992, lost re-election in 1998. In 2010, Garcia ran for Cook County commissioner and won. He successfully ran for U.S. Congress in 2018.
Political experience: Garcia pushed Rahm Emanuel into Chicago’s first mayoral runoff in 2015 but lost. He passed on a bid for mayor in 2019, instead endorsing Lori Lightfoot.
Campaign slogan: “Chuy for Chicago”
Campaign website: chuyforchicago.com