Mayor Lori Lightfoot turns to CEOs for support in tough re-election bid

In a challenging campaign, Mayor Lightfoot is reaching out to corporate leaders, hoping for a fundraising boost.

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22 · 3 months ago · Reddit


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been making personal appeals for support to the city’s top business leaders ahead of a challenging re-election bid – surprising some of them with direct outreach after she was often seen as holding corporate executives at arm’s length.

Lightfoot has been calling chief executive officers and other top leaders of several of the city’s largest businesses in recent months, people familiar with the conversations said. In each case, the people said, the mayor and her team were seeking support in the Feb. 28 election, which many took to mean donating to her campaign.

Craig J. Duchossois, executive chair of Duchossois Group Inc., a privately held investment firm headquartered in Chicago, said he received a call from the Democratic mayor about two and a half months ago where he tried to stress the gravity of the city’s problems but felt that Lightfoot pushed back. “From my perspective, she really doesn’t appreciate that the city’s in a crisis,” he said, recounting that he told the mayor, “My answer is, ‘I’m not going to support you. I know you’re well intended, but you’re not effective.’”

In some cases, top executives hadn’t heard from Lightfoot for several years until recent months – leading some to consider her contact too little, too late. It’s unclear how many of the executives will agree to support her re-election bid, financially or otherwise, the people familiar with the matter said.