First there were buttons. Now there’s a campaign committee.
Paperwork was filed with state elections officials Wednesday to create “GMFM — Garry McCarthy for Mayor Exploratory Committee.”
The purpose of the committee? “To explore the prospect of the candidacy of Garry McCarthy for Mayor of Chicago,” according to the form filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
The filing lists a web address of garryformayor.com, which is the same address listed on gold and green “GMFM” buttons that were circulating this summer. That website brings up a page that says the “domain name has just been registered” but no information on a possible campaign.
Attempts to reach McCarthy were unsuccessful Thursday. In July, McCarthy said he wasn’t sure who was distributing the buttons. He told the Tribune a run for mayor was “probably unlikely.”
“There’s a group of people who are very serious about this, and they are looking at all the angles,” McCarthy said. “I haven’t said ‘no’ yet. Let’s put it that way.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired McCarthy as the city’s top cop in December 2015 amid the fallout of a judge ordering the mayor to release a video of the Laquan McDonald police shooting. Emanuel fought the video’s release for more than a year in court, including during his re-election campaign.
The footage of white Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teen McDonald led to weeks of protests, accusations of a cover-up and calls for Emanuel’s resignation. The mayor initially stood by McCarthy. But as the video made national news and thousands took to the streets to demonstrate, Emanuel dismissed his top cop, citing a lack of public trust in the Police Department.
Since then, McCarthy has taken up work as a security consultant while making the occasional television and radio appearance criticizing the city’s leadership and the homicide rate that has soared in the last two years.
Listed as president of the campaign fund was Brian McCormack at an Edgebrook address on the Far Northwest Side. The treasurer listed was Bernadette McNally at a North Center address.
McCormack did not return calls left at his home, work and cell phones, or a message sent to his campaign email address listed on the form he filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Contacted by phone Thursday, McNally said she was in the middle of a meeting and did not immediately return the call.
Such campaign committees are required to report political contributions if they top $5,000, but the amount of money listed as available was “$0.”