Jan 3, 2024 - Politics

What to watch in Chicago politics in 2024

Governor JB Pritzker at a podium with a blue sign reading Chicago DNC 2024.

Gov. JB Pritzker speaks during an event last April announcing Chicago as the host city for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

We're pulling out our crystal ball and previewing some of the storylines that could emerge in Chicago politics this year.

Here's what we're watching:

New arrivals

Mayor Brandon Johnson is starting 2024 caught in political crossfire over Chicago's migrant crisis.

After a series of missteps including the state shutting down a partially built migrant housing camp due to toxic soil, the mayor is scrambling to stay ahead of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's escalating efforts to send new arrivals to the city.

  • Abbott recently pivoted to chartering flights of migrants to Chicago following Johnson's crackdown on "rogue" bus operators.

The bottom line: Regardless of whether Johnson has success implementing his migrant plans this year, Chicago's immigration policies will be front and center in the 2024 presidential election.

The DNC

The Democratic National Convention returns to Chicago for the first time since 1996, hopefully with less "Macarena."

Yes, but: The stakes are high, and the national spotlight could show off all that our great city has to offer or make Chicago a punching bag during the general election.

The intrigue: Though it could be good for the mayor, this deal is all about the governor. JB Pritzker has alleged presidential ambitions, and a political convention dramatically raises the host's national profile.

The Cook County State's Attorney

The race to replace outgoing SA Kim Foxx is already getting in the mud, as negative stories about candidates have emerged.

  • Though voters will ultimately cast ballots for a new candidate, the election is likely to be a referendum on how Foxx's progressive politics worked in the prosecutor's office.

Plus: Did we forget to mention that this is probably the year Mike Madigan goes on trial? Buckle up, and get the popcorn ready.

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