Former Gov. Quinn seeks to limit term for Mayor

Former Gov. Quinn seeks to limit term for Mayor

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s road to a third term could face some bumps with former Governor Pat Quinn efforts to limit Chicago mayors to a two-term limit. Despite Quinns clashing with Emanuel during his service as Governor, he insists the term limit is about creating a “healthy democracy” and not a move against Emanuel personally. Quinn believes term limits would even the playing field for mayoral candidates. “I think it’s unfair the way campaign finance is working for these major offices, where the incumbent often times will have $25 million, and those who aspire to the office will have far less, and it’s really not a fair competition,” Quinn said.

Quinn’s “Take Charge Chicago” campaign has been collecting signatures for nearly two years. Volunteers have gotten about 50,000 people to sign the petition to put the term limit question on the November 6th state and national election ballot. The petition needs a minimum of 52,000 signatures to do so. Quinn, however, expects someone to challenge the signatures on behalf of the Mayor and is hoping to get at least 100,000 signatures by the August 6th deadline. 

This vote would take place just months after Emanuel begins his petitions to get on the February 2019 city election ballot. Quinn is confident if the term limit passes in the November election, courts would agree that Emanuel would be unable to run for his third term. It is likely Emanuel’s campaign would argue this disenfranchises Chicago voters who signed election petitions. He could also face a potential fight over the state law that allows three citywide referendum questions. Emanuel’s City Council allies move to put three questions on the ballot, blocking other questions such as the term limit. Quinn stated he was ready for this opposition.

The former Governor did not say the minimum amount of signatures he would willing to submit. “We’ll decide how to file closer to the deadline. You gotta have a goal,” he said. “People have to know that in order to really do this right we have to get as close to that goal as possible.”

You can sign the petition by going to