Bolingbrook High School graduate and current Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza officially announced she was joining in the Chicago mayoral race Wednesday morning.
“I’m Susana Mendoza, and, yes, I’m running for mayor," Mendoza can be seen saying in a video posted to her official YouTube page. "We can shape Chicago’s future together."
A portion of what appeared to be a Chicago mayoral campaign video was leaked several days before the Nov. 6 election, in which Mendoza was re-elected Illinois comptroller.
“I am focused on the Nov. 6 election because too much is at stake for the people of Illinois,” Mendoza said in a statement at the time. “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.”
The leaked clip caused a stir among Republicans ahead of the election. Mendoza's opponent Darlene Senger demanded Mendoza drop out of the comptroller race, as did lame duck Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“Susana Mendoza’s Chicago mayoral campaign video is a prime example of her ... hypocrisy,” Senger’s campaign tweeted. “Running for two offices at the same time is unfair to Illinois voters, and I demand she drop out of the comptroller race immediately.”
If Mendoza wins, Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker would appoint a replacement, according to the Illinois Constitution.
Mendoza's first official mayoral bid video is titled "Future," and outlines several likely tenets of her upcoming campaign. The comptroller speaks to her upbringing in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, on the city's southwest side, before her family felt the need to move away due to gun violence.
"No family should have to leave their city because their neighborhood isn’t safe,” Mendoza said in the video.
She also cites the city's high property taxes as an issue and emphasizes a need for strong education in Chicago public schools.
Multiple media outlets reported Mendoza backers already began circulating petitions for her mayoral bid prior to Nov. 6. She would reportedly need to collect 12,500 signatures prior to the Nov. 26 filing deadline.
Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would not seek re-election in early September. The election will take place Feb. 26.
This is a developing story; check back with The Herald-News for updates.