Leaked video shows Mendoza saying she is running for Chicago mayor
Four days before the statewide elections, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza appears in a leaked video commercial saying she is running for mayor of Chicago.
In the seven-second video acquired by the Chicago Tribune and WBEZ radio, Mendoza says, "I am Susana Mendoza and I am running for mayor of Chicago. And I ask you to join me on this journey."
Throughout her campaign for reelection to her current post, the Chicago Democrat has denied a plan to run for mayor, but she also declined to rule it out.
"That's super flattering, but my focus from day one has been on this job," Mendoza told the Daily Herald editorial board recently during an endorsement interview in the comptroller's race.
Mendoza issued a statement Friday after the video surfaced.
"I am focused on the November 6 election because too much is at stake for the people of Illinois," she said in the statement. "I'm considering a run for another office and have taken steps to prepare for that should I choose to move forward, but I have not made any formal decisions."
Her Republican opponent, Darlene Senger of Naperville, called for Mendoza to drop out of the comptroller's race.
"This is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy to be running for two offices at the same time," Senger said in a statement.
Eric Adelstein of AL Media in Chicago said the video was his idea and not an announcement that Mendoza is running.
While filming Mendoza's TV commercials for her comptroller campaign, Adelstein suggested she shoot a quick video in case she did decide to run for mayor. "I might have jumped the gun in saying, 'Let's get this,' but I'm excited about the possibility of her being mayor. She'd be great."
He added that he did not know how the video got leaked. "I'll get to the bottom of this and will figure it out," he said.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and others took Mendoza to task Friday for the video.
"Another member of the Madigan Machine proves they care more about political gain than the people," Rauner tweeted. "It's more corruption hurting our state. It's now clear that Susana Mendoza is running for Chicago Mayor and she should drop off the ballot for State Comptroller immediately."
Among those piling on was Chicago mayoral candidate Bill Daley. "This is a part of a larger problem w/ Mendoza deceiving voters," he tweeted. "We need transparency."
Mendoza also faces Libertarian Claire Ball of Addison in the Tuesday election.