Chicago is the only city among the nation’s ten largest cities where the office of mayor does not have term limits. The U.S. Constitution limits the President to two elected terms.
Chicago mayoral incumbents significantly outspend challengers, thanks to campaign war chests amassed from corporate lobbyists and the SuperPACs of the uber-rich. In 2007, for example, the incumbent had a 6-1 edge over his two challengers. In 2015, the incumbent outspent his principal challenger by 5-1.
Chicago Mayors enjoy unusual power over the legislative branch. Unlike the chief executives of our nation and state, the Chicago Mayor appoints City Council Committee Chairs, runs City Council meetings and fills aldermanic vacancies. This added power requires the added check of term limits to restore balance in City Hall.