Is former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy running for mayor?
Paperwork for a campaign committee called “GMFM - Garry McCarthy for Mayor Exploratory Committee” was posted to the Illinois State Board of Elections website on Thursday afternoon.
McCarthy has long toyed with the idea of running against his former boss, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but McCarthy has never publicly thrown his hat in the ring. Neither McCarthy nor the chairman of the committee, Brian McCormack, immediately responded to requests for comment.
A spokesman for Emanuel’s political team said McCarthy’s silence is no surprise.
“Not even Gary McCarthy [sic] will comment on the candidacy of Gary McCarthy [sic],” said Pete Giangreco, an Emanuel campaign spokesman. “Tells you all you need to know on his ‘ground swell’ of support.”
It was not immediately clear whether McCarthy himself was involved in the formation of the committee, which allows potential candidates to fundraise for campaigns. The creation of the committee comes well ahead of the February 2019 mayoral election.
Emanuel fired McCarthy in 2015 after the city released a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting African-American teen Laquan McDonald. The video prompted weeks of demonstrations and calls for both Emanuel and McCarthy to step down.
McCarthy hasn’t been clear about his political intentions. Since he was fired, McCarthy started his own security consulting firm, and he has not ruled out a run for mayor in a number of media interviews. But in July, he claimed not to know who was behind buttons bearing the initials “GMFM,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Emanuel has not publicly announced whether he’ll run for a third term.
Tony Arnold reports on state politics for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter at @tonyjarnold.