CHICAGO (CBS) — Eight days after winning re-election as Illinois State Comptroller, Susana Mendoza is officially entering the race for mayor, stating Chicago “must become the city of the future.”

Mendoza, 46, has been expected to run for mayor ever since Rahm Emanuel announced in September that he would not seek a third term. Days before her re-election as comptroller, a video of Mendoza announcing a run for mayor was leaked to the press, but she didn’t make it official until Wednesday morning.

“Chicago is so many things; gritty, hardworking, welcoming. It’s time to make this city work for everyone. This election is about the future of Chicago, and I believe in that future,” Mendoza said in a different campaign announcement video released early Wednesday.

Mendoza, who grew up in the Little Village neighborhood, said her parents moved out out of the city due to gun violence, citing a shooting on her block when she was a child.

“I know what it feels like to be scared to walk to school,” Mendoza says in her announcement video. “My parents were like so many parents traumatized by gun violence every day in this city. They felt like they had to leave. No family should have to leave their city because their neighborhood isn’t safe.”

“As a kid, it wasn’t my choice to leave the city, but after college, it was my choice to come back to try to make a difference, because when I see a problem, I need to fix it. I just can’t sit on the sideline,” she added.

Mendoza’s announcement comes one day after another candidate, former Chicago Public Schools principal Troy LaRaviere, dropped out of the race.

At least 16 other candidates have announced they are running for mayor in 2019, including:

  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle,
  • former White House chief of staff and Commerce Secretary Bill Daley,
  • Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown,
  • former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico,
  • former Chicago Police Board president Lori Lightfoot,
  • former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy,
  • former CPS Chief Executive Officer Paul Vallas,
  • attorney and policy consultant Amara Enyia,
  • Illinois State Rep. La Shawn Ford,
  • millionaire businessman Willie Wilson,
  • community activist Ja’Mal Green,
  • attorney Jeremiah Joyce Jr.,
  • former City Council candidate John Kozlar,
  • DePaul University student Matthew Roney,
  • tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin,
  • and perennial candidate William “Dock” Walls.