U.S. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García launched his first TV ad of the 2023 mayoral election season on Tuesday as he tries to rebuild momentum in the final five weeks of the campaign.
In the commercial, called “Home,” García narrates as a camera pans over downtown Chicago and nearby homes before focusing on police evidence markers.
“This has always been a home. But like many neighborhoods in Chicago, we too often hear gunshots at night and are confronted with the reality of increasing crime,” García says on the spot. “I’m Chuy García, and enough is enough. It’s time to get back to a safer Chicago now by getting more cops on the streets and getting illegal guns off of them.
The congressman then says he wants to expand community-based violence prevention programs and “address the root causes of crime by investing in underserved neighborhoods.”
“Because returning to a safer Chicago can’t wait,” says García.
For García, the campaign commercial comes at a critical time. He entered the race as a perceived front-runner due to his huge name recognition in the 2015 mayoral race and his time in Congress. In recent weeks, however, García has kept more than $1.3 million dollars to spend closer to the Feb. 28 election, allowing his rivals to generate momentum of their own.
Earlier this month, García unveiled a public safety plan he said would include a “fully funded” Chicago police department and calls for the hiring of an additional 1,600 officers amid a flurry of job openings amid the pandemic. His plan has drawn criticism from rival Cook County commissioner candidates Brandon Johnson and Lightfoot himself, who accused García of copying Lightfoot’s plan for public safety.
Facing a tough reelection battle, Lightfoot launched its first TV ads in November and spent more than $1.9 million on ads in the last two months of the year, according to state election documents. Johnson and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas launched their own ads earlier this month in an attempt to break into the nine-candidate field.
Lightfoot’s first TV commercials attempted to crack down on crime in Chicago and soften her image of belligerence, as it featured excerpts from her inaugural address from nearly four years ago about her upbringing and her parents, including her mother who attended event.
Lightfoot is also airing a TV ad criticizing García for ties to indicted former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and alleged crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried in an attempt to bleed a top rival.
On Tuesday, the mayor’s campaign released a statement claiming that García is stealing her platform and proposing initiatives she has already set up.
“If impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery, you’d think Mr. Garcia was gearing up to vote for Mayor Lightfoot again this year. No matter how many times he touts his recycled public safety plan, nothing can change the fact that while the mayor was busy getting guns off our streets, hiring more police officers and investing in our communities, the congressman was speaking at rallies and called for the police to be fired,” a campaign spokesman said. “Compare their data and you’ll see clearly who’s doing the work to make Chicago residents safer.”