Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said he is "overwhelmed by the enthusiasm" he has seen from supporters about a potential bid for mayor of Chicago, but the longtime congressman said he has not made a decision to run.
"I am very humbled by the encouragement I have received in the past two days from constituents, friends and supporters about a potential candidacy for mayor," Gutierrez, who has represented Illinois’s 4th Congressional District since 1993, said in a statement Thursday. "I think Chicago is ready for new, progressive leadership and for a mayor that can unite our diverse city. Our next mayor needs to treat job creation, neighborhood safety and quality schools like a crusade.
"I’m continuing to talk to supporters,” Gutierrez added, "but I’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm I’m seeing and feeling."
The statement is Gutierrez's second since Mayor Richard Daley (D) announced this week he would not seek reelection. A source close to the congressman characterized Gutierrez’s consideration as “serious” and told The Hill he is giving the race “a lot of thought.”
Gutierrez weighed a run for mayor in 2007 but decided not to challenge Daley, who has held the office since 1989. With Daley’s decision to leave office, numerous Chicago officials are eyeing the vacancy.
Gutierrez, a Hispanic leader known for his advocacy for immigration reform, has been a frequent critic of the man pegged as an early frontrunner, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Gutierrez told The Hill in April that he would not run for mayor, but that statement was made with the assumption that Daley would run again.