Another chapter of an influential labor group announced Monday that it is backing Brandon Johnson for mayor, as was expected.
Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois Opens Endorsements Joining Its Near South Side Headquarters SEIU Local 73 in its announcement Last week the Cook County commissioner should be the next mayor of Chicago. Before that, the powerful Chicago teachers union voted to support Johnson, a former teacher, in September, shortly before joining the race.
Greg Kelly, president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, introduced Johnson as “a former organizer who has fought shoulder to shoulder with us.”
“This is a Chicago where our opportunities are equal, no matter what your zip code, whether you live on the North, South, or West. This is the Chicago that Brandon is fighting for, for which our members Fighting,” Kelly said.
SEIU Healthcare represents 90,000 hospital, nursing home, home care and child care workers in the Illinois Midwest, while SEIU 73 has more than 31,000 members in schools, government, social services and more throughout Illinois and Indiana. There is also SEIU Local 1, which represents the keeper and the watchmen.
[ Who’s in, who’s out and who’s thinking about running for Chicago mayor ]
Growing Labor support for Johnson will prove useful as a challenger jockeys for progressive votes as well as big donations, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot still has a strong fundraising advantage. US Representative Jesus “Chuy” Garcia also announced his entry into the race Last week, complicating how the race to evict Lightfoot will unfold.
Others challenging Lightfoot in the February 28 election are City Council members Sophia King, Raymond Lopez and Roderick Sawyer; businessman Willie Wilson; former CPS CEO Paul Vallas; State Representative Kam Buckner; and community activist Jamal Green.
Lightfoot has spoken of labor support from Chicago’s Ironworkers District Council; Administrative District Council of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers 1; local 11 roofers, waterproofers and allied workers’ union; American Postal Workers Union Local 1; and plumber local 130.