Congressman ‘Chuy’ Garcia endorses former foe Brandon Johnson in mayoral runoff
Fourth-place finisher in initial voting throws support against real estate-backed Paul Vallas
Former mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is endorsing his former rival Brandon Johnson, who’s squaring off against Paul Vallas to become Chicago’s next mayor.
Garcia is in support of Johnson’s more progressive policies and aims to use his political influence to sway voters in Johnson’s favor, reported the Chicago Tribune. The move comes after Vallas’ recent endorsements from prominent unions such as Local 150 and the Chicago Laborers’ District Council, and campaign contributions from prominent real estate players in the city.
Johnson has maintained a strong stance on providing more affordable housing, even proposing a “mansion tax,” which calls for a 2.65 percent transfer tax on properties sold for $1 million or more. This plan would be a significant increase from the current transfer rate of 0.75 percent per $1 million.
The $19,000 difference between the two plans would go directly toward Johnson’s initiative of fighting homelessness and building more affordable housing projects.
While a large portion of the public may be supportive of Johnson’s progressive policies – him beating Garcia and incumbent Lori Lightfoot coming as a shock to some – the business community seems to favor Vallas.
“Vallas has shown himself to be sympathetic to the needs of the building industry,” said Paul Logan, lobbyist for the Building Industry Association of Greater Chicago, “and Johnson has staked out positions on rent control, higher taxes, a lot of different things that are not favorable to the building industry.“
Other developers and real estate players have echoed Logan’s sentiment, believing that Johnson’s ideas are too extreme and that Vallas, the former Chicago Public Schools CEO, would create a friendlier environment for the industry.
Albeit, Johnson has walked back some of his policies, such as the Metra surcharge tax on commuters into the city, in hopes of appealing to more moderate voters.
The runoff election is scheduled for April 4.
— Quinn Donoghue