Why Rep. Mike Quigley won't take on Lori Lightfoot for Chicago mayor

  • Mike Quigley

    Mike Quigley

Updated 4/28/2022 6:49 PM

A formidable opponent to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's reelection said Thursday he belongs at the U.S. Capitol, not city hall.

Congressman Mike Quigley announced he would not run for Chicago mayor in 2023, citing the war in Ukraine and his age, 63.


"The war in Ukraine is not just about territory in Eastern Europe," Quigley said in a statement. "It is a struggle between democracy and authoritarian rule, a tension playing out across the globe.

"On this most recent trip with my colleagues from the Intelligence Committee, it became clear our work will continue for months, if not years. After much consideration, I simply cannot walk away from my duty to safeguard democracy, fight for American values abroad, and stand up for the brave Ukrainian people in their time of maximum peril. Campaigning to serve as mayor of Chicago would not allow me to fulfill this critical obligation."

Quigley, who grew up in Carol Stream, is also co-chair of the House Ukrainian Caucus.

"The great city I love faces unprecedented challenges on crime, schools, equity and fiscal matters that demand 100% full-time commitment from our mayor," he said. "At age 53, I would have relished the opportunity to get Chicago back on track.

"If I'm being completely honest, at 63, I don't think my family and I can make this kind of commitment."

Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun Times she would run for re-election Thursday but has not officially announced.

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Other mayoral contenders are Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez and wealthy businessman Willie Wilson.

Quigley is seeking reelection to his 5th District seat. The newly redrawn district encompasses parts of Cook and Lake counties, stretching from the Chicago lakeshore to the Northwest suburbs.

The Chicago Democrat has served in Congress for more than 13 years and was a Cook County commissioner from 1998 to 2009.

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