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Willie Wilson endorses Paul Vallas, SEIU Local 1 endorses Brandon Johnson

Willie Wilson endorses Vallas, SEIU Local 1 endorses Johnson
Willie Wilson endorses Vallas, SEIU Local 1 endorses Johnson 02:24

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In the race for Chicago mayor, both candidates received endorsements Wednesday - one from a major labor union, the other from a mayoral runner-up.

Former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson endorsed Paul Vallas on Wednesday.

"Crime is high," Wilson said. "Somebody needs to fight that."

Wilson says said he came to the conclusion to endorse Vallas for mayor after social media feedback, town hall meetings, and conversations with faith-based leaders.

"People want to make this a Black and white issue," Wilson said. "I'm not for that. I'm for bring people together - and I think Paul is for bring people together also."

"It is an absolute privilege to be endorsed by Willie," Vallas said as he accepted the endorsement. "It is an absolute privilege to call Willie, one of my closest friends."


Meanwhile, Brandon Johnson received the endorsement of labor union SEIU Local 1.

"On April 4, we have an important election - and all eyes are on Chicagoans all across our country – with so much on the line, from workers' rights to health care to reproductive freedom to ensuring that our communities and the places we work are safe. There is a lot at stake," said SEIU Local 1 President Genie Kastrup. "We have an opportunity to elect a mayor that will build a Chicago that works for all of us."

"SEIU Local 1 and its members and working people across this city imbibe the very spirit of the principles which the working class stand on," Johnson said in accepting the endorsement. "And that's to make sure that no one should be too poor to live in one of the richest cities, in one of the wealthiest countries, at the wealthiest time in the history of the world."


CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot asked North Central College Political Science Professor Stephen Maynard Caliendo to weigh in on what the endorsements mean for both candidates.

"Brandon Johnson is really going to count on these union endorsements, so this is an important one in the city," Caliendo said, "and certainly for Willie Wilson, who was a candidate in the first round, all of those folks who ran in the first round who got votes - their endorsement is going to matter a lot."

Caliendo also said those who supported Wilson wanted to see more police on the streets and that's something Vallas wants too.

Both candidates were set to take part Wednesday evening in the first of what' is expected to be several debates.

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