Without Susana Mendoza or Gery Chico on the ballot, several Latino leaders endorse the Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot who is fighting to defeat the Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, in this historical race.

The recent endorsement to Lori by the US Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, actually one of the most prominent Latino leaders, sent a clear message to his community whose vote could be decisive in the race in the upcoming election.

Garcia’s endorsement came after showing his political muscle by winning a seat in the US Congress and celebrating the triumph of almost all the candidates he supported in the past November elections.

“I believe that Lori will become the change agent that Chicago needs so desperately at this critical juncture. I believe that she has the moral compass to guide our city and that she has the skill set required for making critical policy decisions,” Garcia said.

“I believe she has the heart and the soul to usher in a new era of bold municipal policy that improves especially the lives of working people everywhere across our city, especially the people who have the least,” Garcia said.

Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President, has strong support from the union in the February election had already secured endorsements from the Chicago Teachers Union, Service Employees International Union Locals 1 and 73, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 881 and Teamsters, among others

After Susana Mendoza and Gery Chico could not advance in the primary election of February 26, the Latino vote is a question mark for Chicago mayoral race. For Chuy Garcia and other Latino leaders such as alderman Gilbert Villega, the option is Lori.

“With the endorsement of Lori Lightfoot by Rep. “Chuy” Garcia, this is a signal that Lori will do better for the Latino community than Toni  Preckwinkle, said Villegas. Toni is currently in charge of a $5.8 billion dollar budget and can be judged based on her current accomplishments with the Latino community, Villegas said.

“To date, both Mayor Emanuel and President Preckwinkle have not demonstrated a willingness to be inclusive of the Latino community within their administrations. The City of Chicago’s Latino community is made up of approximately 32%, yet we are less than 19% in the city’s workforce and less than 15% in the county’s workforce, Villegas point out.

With the Chuy endorsement, this almost signifies that Lori will get a larger percentage of the Latino vote.”

Martin Castro, CEO of Castro Synergies, also supports Lori: “I support Lori for Mayor and I’m pleased to see the other Latino and African-American political leadership coming together to support her. It’s a testament to Lori’s ability to bring people together and revitalize the Black-Brown coalition so greatly needed in Chicago today.”

Gery Chico and Susana Mendoza, the two Latinos who ran for mayoral candidates in the February election, also supported Lori.

“Over the past several months on the campaign trail, I’ve gotten to know Lori and I’ve been so impressed by her character as well as the passion and purpose she brings to the table,” Chico said in a statement.

“Lori has deep knowledge on all of the issues that we confront as a city, and I believe in her vision of creating a stronger, safer and more equitable Chicago.”

The Latino Leadership Council, created last year by several Latino leaders including former congressman and Chuy Garcia considered the anemic number of Latino/appointments in the Preckwinkle administration, said Juan Ochoa former CEO of MPEA and one of the members of the organization.

“Additionally, we were highly disappointed that a politically connected employee in her office made disparaging and racist comments about Mexicans as reported by the Chicago Tribune. After an independent investigation recommended firing the individual Preckwinkle’s H.R. department promoted her, he said.  This toleration of grossly inappropriate behavior is more fitting of President Trump’s administration than President Preckwinkle’s”, said Ochoa who is also a Board Member of the City State agency that owns McCormick Place Convention Center and Navy Pier.