Wilfredo De Jesus, the anti-gay
Pentecostal mega-church leader, is expected to announced his bid to
run Chicago on Thursday, WBEZ
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's
surprise announcement last month that he won't campaign for a seventh
term created a gold rush as politicians, including Rahm Emanuel, the
former White House chief of staff, began lining up to fill the
De Jesus, the senior pastor of New Life
Covenant Church in Humboldt Park, created a stir last year when a
member of his parish, Billy Ocasio, pushed for De Jesus to be his
City Council replacement.
Gay activists opposed the move because
De Jesus had previously spearheaded an effort to derail a planned
Chicago high school for gay students.
De Jesus said he objected to the school
because he felt it was “a form of segregation.” He's also been
linked to the Assemblies of God, a stridently anti-gay fellowship,
and opposes efforts to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.
Mayor Daley yielded to the gay
community and rejected Ocasio's recommendation.
Tunney, Chicago's first openly gay alderman and a Chicago Gay &
Lesbian Hall of Fame inductee, is reportedly also considering
entering the race for the mayor's office.