Chicago Mayoral race landscape may change: Lewis in hospital


Karen Lewis at an educational forum in the Logan Square Auditorium in Oct. 2012

Update: CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey announced on Thurs. that he would be assuming the duties of Lewis, who has a "serious illness."
Lewis underwent surgery on Wednesday. 

While the three known candidates for Chicago's 5th floor City Hall Mayor's office are its current occupant, Rahm Emanuel; 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti; and Amara Enyia, many are expecting Chicago Teacher's Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis to increase the count by one. Today, Oct. 6, it was announced that Lewis is in a local hospital being evaluated. 

“Karen is being evaluated in a local hospital after experiencing discomfort Sunday evening. Contrary to media inquiries based on a tip from an anonymous source, she has not suffered a stroke. We respect Karen’s privacy just as we value her leadership. I’m sure she’ll determine whether or not another public statement is warranted,” said Stephanie Gadlin, union spokeswoman, in a statement.


Amara Enyia

Monday evening, NBC announced that Lewis wanted to make sure that her discomfort was not the result of her weight-loss surgery. "In March, she flew to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to undergo bariatric surgery," reported Laura the Sun-Times on May 19. "Her health insurance would not cover it, so going abroad was the only affordable cost option — $8,500."

Though not declared, Lewis' candidacy has been expected since she put $40,000 of her personal money into her political fund. Her response to questions about that donation was, "People should know I'm serious."

A resident of East Garfield Park, her parents, who she identified as Nigerian activist, came to the U.S. to provide better opportunities for their five children. Enyia's formal education includes obtaining a PhD in education and public policy as well as a Law Degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

She worked as a public policy fellow during Richard M. Daley's administration and is now, according to her website, working as a municipal development consultant and is the Executive Director of Austin Chamber of Commerce on the West Side. Her platform may be found on her website.




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