CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez will not enter Chicago’s mayoral race.

Instead, he is launching a drive to get Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to run for the seat.

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“Because of my unending respect for all of you, I’ve listened carefully and believe me, from the bottom of my heart, I am honored,” said Gutierrez.

Garcia forced Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff in 2015.

In a statement, Garcia said: “As I take a closer look at the Mayor’s race I will continue to dialogue with Chicagoans from across our great city to talk about solutions that will both unify us and improve everyone’s quality of life. While we have great challenges ahead of us we also have an opportunity to bring peace to a city that has been too much at war with itself. And, I look forward to forging that peace together.”

Earlier this week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she is seriously considering a run in the race to become Chicago’s next mayor.

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Last week, Emanuel made a stunning announcement that he would not seek a third term.

That leaves the race with at least 11 hopefuls in the mayor’s race.

“Chuy took us almost far enough four years ago bringing a new spirit of independence and honesty that survived his defeat. It’s time to let his vision be fulfilled,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez, a former cab driver and social worker, became an alderman allied with Mayor Harold Washington during the tumultuous council wars. He then moved from City Hall to the halls of the U.S Congress, where his voice could consistently be heard inside the beltway and beyond.

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