(CBS) – Willie Wilson continues to be a potential kingmaker in the Chicago mayoral race.
The African-American businessman, who was knocked out of the contest in the Feb. 24 primary, says he had private meetings over the weekend with the two candidates who will be on the April 7 ballot: incumbent Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
Wilson tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov he’s already decided he’ll vote for Garcia. That’s based in part, he says, on his dissatisfaction with public school closings under Emanuel’s administration and also the city’s continued use of red-light cameras.
“My personal vote is for anybody except for this mayor,” Wilson said Sunday.
Still, he said, he could end up publicly endorsing Emanuel, depending on what members of his own community tell him. Wilson insisted his personal vote is separate from who might be best for the city as a whole.
“I’m looking for the community to tell me who to endorse, alright? I’ve been very clear. I’m going to vote for Garcia. That’s me as a person, alright? But that community who have taken and voted for me deserves the opportunity to tell me what to do,” he said.
It’s a somewhat confusing stance from a man whose support would be welcomed by either candidate. Wilson received more than 50,000 votes last week.
Wilson says he had lunch Sunday with Garcia. On Saturday, he met with Emanuel and two dozen African-American community and religious leaders at the Chicago Baptist Institute.
The Garcia campaign declined comment Sunday. A spokesperson for Emanuel’s campaign says Wilson asked the mayor to attend Saturday’s meeting with black leaders and Emanuel obliged.
Also meeting over the weekend with Wilson was Gov. Bruce Rauner, who knows Emanuel. Rauner declined to discuss their conversation.