The surprise announcement by Congressman Luis Gutiérrez not to seek re-election for a new term, raised a series of speculations about what could be behind his decision.
When explaining his reasons at a press conference, the Puerto Rican politician said he wanted to spend more time with his family after spending “more than 4000 nights” outside his home in his 25-year career.
“I want to write the last chapter of my life with Jessica, with Zoraida, with my family,” he said.
The announcement took place just when Gutierrez is enjoying national popularity for his fierce defense in favor of undocumented immigrants, his confrontation with President Donald Trump for his position on this issue and his criticism of the situation in Puerto Rico, still devastated by Hurricane Maria
“Luis is the most visible face of our struggle for immigration reform and to help the Dreamers,” said Rigoberto Lopez, a Mexican immigrant.
According to the congressman, another one of the reasons that led him to take “a new direction in his life” is having found his successor: the commissioner of Cook County Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a former rival of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the past municipal elections.
In the last mayoral elections, Garcia was a tough opponent of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who received full support from Gutierrez.
Gutiérrez and Chuy Garcia grew up politically in the shadow of Harold Washington, the first African-American mayor of Chicago.
At the insistence of the press to talk about his future, the 63-year-old politician made it clear that he will continue his fight for the dreamers and that he will rebuild his native Puerto Rico.
He also said he will join groups of immigrants to build “an infrastructure that ensures that we are ready to win (the elections) in 2020.