Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Rep. Luis Gutierrez will not run for Chicago mayor; will continue fight for immigration reform. UPDATE

| 4 Comments


Updates marked....
UPDATE3 Abdon M. Pallasch report on Gutierrez not running for mayor is here. My post below. END UPDATE3

WASHINGTON--Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) decided Thursday not to run for Chicago mayor--instead staying in Congress to lead the fight for immigration reform--but will be very involved in the expected election brawl to replace Mayor Richard Daley.

Gutierrez had been organizing a mayoral campaign and commissioned a poll that showed he would be a viable candidate in a crowded field.

But Gutierrez noted his national role in immigration in an afternoon speech at the University of Illinois at Chicago, "I have an obligation not to give up on the fight I've already begun. I have unfinished business to complete. So I will not be a candidate for Mayor of the City of Chicago," he said in his prepared text. (click below for entire text)

Gutierrez phoned the major mayoral candidates before his announcement--Tom Dart, Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, James Meeks, Rahm Emanuel and Miguel del Valle.

UPDATE1 My colleague, Abdon M. Pallasch, who is at the UIC, said Gutierrez was greeted with shouts of "Si se puede"--yes we can. END UPDATE1

UPDATE2 Gutierrez and Emanuel have often been at each others throat--especially over immigration. Emanuel said in a statement, "Luis and I are friends who worked together on important issues for Chicago as colleagues in Congress. He has always brought passion and ideas to the conversation about the city's future, and while he has announced that he is not running for Mayor, he will continue to be a respected leader with a powerful voice in our community. As we discussed today on the phone, we look forward to continuing to work together as we strive for the best way to address our city's challenges." END UPDATE2


"This is an extremely difficult decision, and I thank with all my heart the people who have been working so hard and supporting my candidacy.

"But it is a decision I make knowing it is the right thing to do. There is one and only one reason I am not running -- I'm already engaged in the most important battle I can commit my energy and time and devotion to winning. I am one-hundred percent committed to fighting for fairness and justice for immigrants, and to continue the battle for comprehensive immigration reform.

"Standing up for immigrants, and finishing this battle, and winning this fight is far more important than whatever personal disappointment I might feel in not making the race for Mayor of the city of Chicago.

I love Chicago. I've reached out to other candidates today to tell them I'm not running and to wish them well. I will be engaged in this race and will still be a voice for fairness for all of the people of Chicago. For jobs. For better schools. For safe streets.

But I will be that voice while I continue my obligations as Congressman and my crusade for comprehensive immigration reform.

"I know today - that even though I believe we would have mounted a great campaign, an important campaign, a winning campaign - this is the right decision for the people I represent and for people who count on me," he said.

My column on how Gutierrez was torn over running for mayor or staying in Congress is here.

PREPARED LUIS GUTIERREZ REMARKS

When I make important decisions I try to think about Roberto Clemente.
Roberto Clemente had everything. A great career. A rifle arm. A big contract. Fans who adored him.
And yet, he risked it all to help others. He made a decision that was entirely unselfish. A decision about the greater good of his people. He took on the dictator of Nicaragua, got on a small plane, overloaded with relief supplies, flew into a storm - and gave his life for others.
I'm not here to compare myself to Clemente. Not at all. Few people will ever earn that comparison. But I am here to say that as I think about making a decision like running for Mayor of Chicago, I try to learn by his example.
And the example he set was this: when you make a decision, do it based on what is best for your people.
I love the City of Chicago. I would love to be Mayor of the city of Chicago, and I believe I could do great things for people. For Latinos, for African-Americans, for immigrants, for gays and lesbians, for every person in Chicago wants a better future for themselves and their families.
I believe I could make a difference.
And I believe our campaign is in very strong shape. We have lots of funding, and commitments for more. We have plenty of signatures on petitions. We have enthusiasm and support and volunteers. We have a poll that says we are in a very strong position and that the Latino community in particular would rally to my candidacy.
It's an exciting and important opportunity.
And so I have weighed that excitement and that opportunity and that possibility alongside of my current opportunity. And my current obligation.
I'm honored to serve in Congress. My constituents have sent me back many times. I take their trust seriously. I'm humbled by it.
And across this nation, immigrants are counting on me too. The people I've talked about today in detail. The people I've met in Jersey City and Tampa, in El Paso and San Jose, in Cleveland and Phoenix.
Today, our immigrant community is under attack - but we're fighting back. And I am fortunate enough to be on the frontlines of the battle. Fortunate to stand up for families that are being torn apart and moms and dads who are being deported. To have a direct line to the President of the United States to say "you have to do more." To go to Phoenix to say "what you are doing here in unjust and must be stopped." To walk the streets of Pilsen and Little Village and give people hope. To debate anti-immigrant leaders wherever we find them - from the ballot box to the television talk shows.
It's a tough time for those of us who believe in fairness for immigrants. But history is not written by those who give up.
And history is not written by those who change battles in the middle of the fight.
Today I tell you that I have an obligation to all of my constituents and all of the immigrant families I have met and learned from across this country. I have an obligation to not give up the fight for fairness, for justice and for finally passing comprehensive immigration reform.
I have an obligation not to give up on the fight I've already begun.
I have unfinished business to complete.
So I will not be a candidate for Mayor of the City of Chicago.

This is an extremely difficult decision, and I thank with all my heart the people who have been working so hard and supporting my candidacy.
But it is a decision I make knowing it is the right thing to do. There is one and only one reason I am not running -- I'm already engaged in the most important battle I can commit my energy and time and devotion to winning. I am one-hundred percent committed to fighting for fairness and justice for immigrants, and to continue the battle for comprehensive immigration reform.
Standing up for immigrants, and finishing this battle, and winning this fight is far more important than whatever personal disappointment I might feel in not making the race for Mayor of the city of Chicago.
I love Chicago. I've reached out to other candidates today to tell them I'm not running and to wish them well. I will be engaged in this race and will still be a voice for fairness for all of the people of Chicago. For jobs. For better schools. For safe streets.
But I will be that voice while I continue my obligations as Congressman and my crusade for comprehensive immigration reform.
I know today - that even though I believe we would have mounted a great campaign, an important campaign, a winning campaign - this is the right decision for the people I represent and for people who count on me.
So I thank you. Today is not the end of a fight - it's the continuation of a struggle for justice - and I invite all of you to join me in this very important crusade. Because with all of you - together - we will win.
Thank you very much.

4 Comments

A no-brainer, the man isn't going to risk his congressional seat and run against a man that gave up his position at the White House!
Reverend Meeks will run against Rahm!

luis this is why if you run for major no one will vote for u at least not the puerto rican, black, etc we need to send these people back we dont have no more money but yet these mexican come take our jobs our welfare and send our money back home you must be out of your mine to continue this shame on you and and you say you are puerto rican shame on you


Thank God for small favors!

He knew he wouldn't win cause he couldn't even get the 25,000 signatures it would take to even get on the ballot!!!

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 14, 2010 3:30 PM.

Giannoulis new poll: Giannoulias 44, Kirk 41 was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois in talks with Justice Department to make sure all military and overseas ballots are counted is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.