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Off Message: The Year in Review

Natasha Korecki is joined by Laura Washington, Dan Mihalopoulos and Mark Brown to discuss the biggest political stories of 2014, who won, who lost and the best quotes of the year.

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, at a public appearance in August. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

CTU President Karen Lewis 'trying to resume some of her duties'

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said Thursday, in her first interview since being hospitalized for a brain tumor that halted her plans to run for mayor, that she’s eager to campaign for mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia — but isn’t quite ready. In a rare appearance since her October diagnosis, Lewis had stepped out Wednesday night to introduce Garcia at the union’s House of Delegates meeting. She said by telephone Thursday that she’s not yet campaigning for the Cook County commissioner set to take on Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "I will be, but not right now," Lewis said. 

Karen Lewis, from a video released Friday.

Karen Lewis endorses Garcia for mayor, thanks Chicago for support

Speaking publicly for the first time since she underwent brain surgery, Karen Lewis appeared in a video Friday thanking Chicago for its "support, love and … best wishes," promising to “remain encouraged and focused in the days ahead” — and endorsing mayoral challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia speaks at the University of Illinois Chicago on Wednesday as part of the Future of Chicago lecture series. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Garcia: I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote

Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on Wednesday told a group of college students he received a flood of emails and calls requesting he run for mayor after Chicago Teachers Union President

Off Message: Karen Lewis' impact on Chicago

In light of the news about Karen Lewis' illness, Natasha Korecki is joined by Rosalind Rossi, Lauren FitzPatrick and Dan Mihalopoulos to reflect on Lewis' legacy and the mark she has left on Chicago up to this point.

Chicago Teacher's Union President, Karen Lewis. File Photo | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Karen Lewis thanks her supporters as she battles illness

For the first time since she was hospitalized on Oct. 5 for a brain tumor, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis released a statement, thanking well-wishers for supporting her.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel jokingly tells a parade participant to move along during the Memorial Day Parade on North State Street in 2011. Left of Emanuel is Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd). | Sun-Times library

Emanuel commits to debates—even without Karen Lewis in race

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he plans on waging a “vigorous campaign” for re-election that includes debates with Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), even though the field no longer includes Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, Vice President Jesse Sharkey and union attorney Robert Bloch at a news conference after the union rejected a fact-finder's recommendations in July 2012. | Sun-Times file photo

CTU faces contract talks, likely without Karen Lewis

Now that Karen Lewis is officially out of the mayor’s race, the buzz has focused on what happens without her as she seeks treatment for a brain tumor.

Ald. Howard Brookins at City Council meeting earlier this year | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Where does the black vote go without Karen Lewis in mayor's race?

With Karen Lewis out of the race, Mayor Rahm Emanuel could get a “sizeable chunk” of the African-American vote after using his $9.5 million campaign warchest to explain 50 school closings and other decisions that alienated black voters, an influential alderman said Tuesday.

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