Group of West Side faith leaders back Brandon Johnson for mayor

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A group of prominent West Side faith leaders favored mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson Tuesday after urging Chicagoans to vote in the upcoming runoff election.

At the monthly Leaders Network meeting President David Cherry emphasized only a third of voters participated in the Feb. 28 election, with an even lower number on the West Side. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners’ latest data shows a citywide turnout of 35.8%, with 30.66% and 23.8% percent respectively in the 29th and 37th wards.

Cherry said Johnson, an Austin resident, is the candidate who brings new ideas to Chicago. The West Side faith leadership group had not publicly favored a mayoral candidate in this year’s election. Last month, five of the nine mayoral candidates, including Johnson joined the monthly faith-based meeting.

“As toxic as Mayor Rahm Emanuel was, he was not as right-wing as Paul Vallas [is],” he said as he urged attendees to participate in the April 4 runoff. He called it  “one of the most important elections” in Chicago’s history.

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