Pushing Lori Lightfoot to the side, Chicago has new Black leadership on the rise and he has some heavy hitters backing him up.
Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has given his blessing to Brandon Johnson in his campaign for mayor of Chicago, according to HuffPost.
The assistant House Democratic leader is leaning on Johnson to consolidate the support of Black voters, of all ages, including older Black voters who may be skeptical of Johnson’s left-wing views on issues such as policing and taxation.
“I am proudly supporting Brandon Johnson for Mayor of Chicago,” Clyburn said in a statement. “Commissioner Johnson is a man of family, faith and public service, and I know those core values will guide his leadership as Mayor.”
The two leaders bonded over after meeting earlier this month in Selma, Alabama for the annual commemoration of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march for voting rights. Clyburn says he connected with Johnson on a personal level, discussing their similarities in upbringings and their shared admiration of the 20th-century Black civil rights movement.
“Commissioner Johnson and I share many characteristics: our spirit of activism, our professional beginnings as public school teachers, our commitment to justice, and we are both PKs (Preacher Kids),” he said. “Commissioner Johnson will be a Mayor who does everything in his power to make Chicago safe for all, and I am proud to support him.”
Johnson has been described as “progressive” while he wears the hat of Cook County commissioner. He is running against Paul Vallas, who is known as being a “centrist” and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools. CNN reports both went head to head in debates Thursday night as Vallas accused the 46-year-old of supporting the “defund the police” movement. Johnson held no bars claiming his opponent has plans to hire more police officers, saying the process would be “slow and unrealistic.”
Progressive allies like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have also shown support of Johnson ahead of the race runoff set for April 4.