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Business Mogul Willie Wilson Announces Run for Chicago Mayor

The longtime businessman and philanthropist says his former endorsement of current mayor Lightfoot was a ‘hell of a mistake.’

Calling his past endorsement of the current mayor “a hell of a mistake,” Chicago businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson has entered the race for mayor. He challenges Mayor Lori Lightfoot despite his hearty endorsement of her candidacy four years ago.

CBS News reports Wilson regretted his past support of Lightfoot saying, “I've been very disappointed. Chicago is my town," Wilson said. "I care about its people, all its people, and I'm going to stand up there for it."

Wilson, just weeks ago, gave away $1.2 million in free gas in Chicago and the suburbs. He says he’ll be releasing his platform and plans for the office in a month.

The multi-millionaire Wilson promises to fund his own campaign to the tune of $5 million and says he will not accept major campaign contributions.

"I owe no politicians any favors. The only thing I'm committed to doing is owing the citizens of the city of Chicago, it's 77 communities. I'm beholden to the community. I will take no money that exceeds $10,000, $20,000, or $50,000. That ain't going to happen. But those who want to donate to my campaign can donate $5, or $10, or what have you," he said.

Wilson also pledged to accept no city salary if he is elected mayor, pledging instead to donate it to churches and non-profits.

CBS Chicago reported during the 2020 presidential election Wilson refused to announce who received his vote. Wilson said in 2018 said he had voted for both former President Donald Trump and former Gov. Bruce Rauner.

This marks Wilson's third foray into running for mayor. He also ran in 2015 and 2019, getting about 11% of the vote each time. He's also had unsuccessful runs for U.S. Senate and President. He has never been elected to office.

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