Chicago mayoral candidate profile: Sophia King

Chicago mayoral candidate profile: Sophia King

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Sophia King has represented the 4th Ward that stretches along the lakefront from the South Loop to Bronzeville since 2016, when she was appointed to replace Ald. Will Burns. After retaining her seat in a special election the next year and again in 2019, she was chosen to helm the City Council’s progressive caucus in 2020. She is the only woman challenging Lightfoot for the mayor’s seat in 2023 and is known for working to rename Lake Shore Drive to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the Black founder of Chicago, as well as pushing for a minimum wage increase to $15. When the city reviewed potential sites for its upcoming casino, King opposed locating it at the former Michael Reese Hospital in Bronzeville, saying it would be akin to “putting a casino in Harlem.” She and her husband are friends with the Obamas.

Age: 56

Born: Boulder, Colorado

Personal: Married to Alan King, a lawyer and house music DJ, with two adult daughters

Education: Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign; Master’s in education and social policy, Northwestern University

Neighborhood: Kenwood

Current job: 4th Ward alderman

Government experience: 4th Ward alderman (2016-present), volunteer and co-founder of Ariel Community Academy (1992-1997), deputy director of sports administration at Chicago Public Schools (2001-2003)

Political experience: Chair of the City Council Progressive Caucus (2020-present), president of the Kenwood Park Advisory Council (2008-2015), vice chair of Planned Parenthood Chicago (1998-2005)

Campaign slogan: “A strong Chicago is a safe Chicago — further together”

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