Openly Gay Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney Considers Running for Mayor

Mayor Daley has officially announced he will not seek relection in 2011. It is being said that Tom Tunney, Chicago’s first openly gay alderman, is considering a run for the mayor’s office.  

Daley appointed Tunney to the Chicago City Council in 2002. The Chicago native was elected to his post the following year. He represents the voters of the city’s 44th Ward, which includes portions of Chicago’s largest gay neighborhood, Boystown.

Tunney is among the Chicago-area politicians being considered for the job after Mayor Richard Daley announced  he won’t seek a seventh term next year.


“I’m not a candidate at this point,” Tunney told Chicago daily the Chicago Tribune. “I think we really need time to absorb the impact of the mayor’s statement, and the fact that he has been a terrific mayor.”

The 55-year-old Tunney turned a sagging Ann Sather restaurant in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood into a thriving four location chain. He purchased the original restaurant at the age of 23. He’s also a dedicated fundraiser for local and regional gay rights groups.

In 1995, Tunney was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

Daley has had a generally good relationship with Chicago’s large gay population. In 2006 he was inducted into the city’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame as a “Friend of the Community.” His administration’s achievements include establishing Chicago’s Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues and Office of LGBT Health; instituting domestic-partner benefits for city employees; and adding gender identity to the municipal human rights ordinance. He has voiced personal support for marriage equality.

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