Willie Wilson

February 24, 2023

Lucas Martinez

Millionaire businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson is a two-time candidate for mayor, running in 2015 and again in 2019. He was also a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

Wilson, who owns a medical supply company, is known for his gas and food giveaways.

He came under fire during a heated debate in January when he criticized incumbent Lightfoot for her handling of crime in the city. He said police should be able to chase down suspects and “hunt them down like a rabbit.”

Wilson launched a voter registration drive to get more Chicago residents to vote and asked a federal judge in August to block a precinct consolidation plan tied to redistricting that ultimately eliminated 779 of Chicago’s 2,069 precincts.

Crime and Public Safety

Crime is the issue most on Chicago voters’ minds, Wilson told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“My idea of solving crime would be to hold the superintendent of police accountable,” he said in that interview.

To simplify policing and hold residents accountable, part of Wilson’s safety plan is to:

  • divide the city into four police districts and
  • have four superintendents of police.

Wilson would integrate a diverse police force designated to patrol each neighborhood.

Wilson also supports bail for non-violent low level offenders during holidays.

Economic development

To address issues magnified by the pandemic, Wilson proposes working together with appropriate agencies.

Wilson cites his business experience as a reason to vote for him because business is the foundation for Chicago communities.


Wilson advocates for the financial support of at-risk homeless persons.

His plan to address affordable housing challenges is to cut taxes to keep residents from leaving Chicago.


Wilson’s plan to increase the reliability of Chicago’s transportation system involves placing more armed security on buses and trains by hiring more police officers, he said in the Jan. 19 mayor debate.

At the same debate, Wilson cited Lightfoot’s failure to keep people safe when using public transportation.

He has said he would lower fares to increase ridership on the Chicago Transit Authority.


Wilson told the Chicago Crusader that he wants to restore trade curriculums in high schools, churches and prisons. He plans to establish a trade school near CTA bus terminals to facilitate easy access for students.