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Willie Wilson
Willie Wilson at the Scott County Democratic Party Dinner (3) (cropped).jpg
Personal details
Born (1948-06-16) June 16, 1948 (age 69)
Gilbert, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Mt. Carmel Theological
Website Campaign website

Willie L. Wilson (born June 16, 1948)[1] is an American businessman and politician from Chicago, Illinois. He has owned and operated several different McDonald's restaurant franchises and owns Omar Medical Supplies, which imports and distributes latex gloves and other medical and safety supplies and equipment.[2][3] He also produces the nationally syndicated gospel music television program Singsation, which won a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award in 2012.[2][4][5]

Political career[edit]

2015 Chicago mayoral campaign[edit]

Wilson ran for Mayor of Chicago in 2015, and placed third in a five candidate race with 10.66% of the vote.[6][7][8] He endorsed second-place finisher Jesús "Chuy" García in the runoff.[9][10]

2016 United States presidential campaign[edit]

Willie Wilson 2016
Willie Wilson 2016 logo.png
Campaign United States presidential election, 2016
Candidate Willie Wilson
Affiliation Democratic Party
Status Active
Headquarters 345 E. Wacker Unit 4601, Chicago, IL 60601[11]
Key people Andre Fair campaign treasurer
Receipts US$1,100,421 (5/06/2016[11])
Slogan We Still Believe
Official website
Map demonstrating the ballot access of Wilson's campaign
  On ballot
  On ballot as other
  Not on ballot
Map of third-place finishes in Democratic primaries and caucuses
  Steve Burke
  Willie Wilson
  No third place candidate

Wilson announced on June 1, 2015, that he would be running as a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He ran as a Democrat.[2][12][13][14]

Wilson was on the ballot in several states during the 2016 Democratic primaries. He was the only minor candidate to appear on the ballot in South Carolina’s “First in the South” primaries, perhaps due to the comparatively higher cost of the state’s ballot entry fee.[15]

The Wilson campaign was the first presidential campaign, Democratic or Republican, to buy advertisements in the state of Iowa.[16]

Below is a table of the results of primary competitions he competed in during the Democratic primaries.

Primaries and Caucus Results
Date Contest Votes Place Percent Delegates Source(s)
Feb 1 Iowa caucusA 0 N/A 0.00 0 The Green Papers
Feb 27 South Carolina primary 1,314 3rd of 4 0.35 0 The Green Papers
March 1 Texas primary 3,254 5th of 8 0.23 0 The Green Papers
March 5 Louisiana primary 1,423 6th of 10 0.46 0 The Green Papers
March 8 Mississippi primary 919 3rd of 5 0.40 0 The Green Papers
March 15 Illinois primary 6,565 3rd of 8 0.32 0 The Green Papers
Missouri primary 307 8th of 10B 0.05 0 The Green Papers
June 7 California primary 10,544 3rd of 7 0.24 0 The Green Papers
North Dakota caucus 0 0.00 0 The Green Papers
Total (Current) 24,326 7thC 0.08 0 The Green Papers
A.^ On ballot as other
B.^ Counting Uncommitted as having placed 3rd
C.^ Counting Uncommitted and No Preference, respectively, as placing 4th and 6th

Campaign finances[edit]

Detailed below are the FEC-filed finances of Willie Wilson 2016 as of 5/06/2016[11]

Financial Source Amount (USD)
Federal Funds 0
Itemized Individual Contributions 28,685
Unitemized Individual Contributions 6,705
Party Committees Contributions 0
Other Committees Contributions 0
Total Contributions 35,390
Transfers from Authorized Committees 0
Candidate Loans 1,055,100
Other Loans 0
Total Loans 1,055,100
Offsets to Operating Expenditures 9,931
Fundraising Offsets 0
Legal and Accounting Offsets 0
Total Offsets 9,857
Other Receipts 0
Total Receipts 1,100,421
Disbursements Amount (USD)
Operating Expenditures 1,055,444
Transfers To Authorized Committees 0
Fundraising 0
Exempt Legal and Accounting 0
Candidate Loan Repayments 11,627
Other Loan Repayments 0
Total Loan Repayments 11,627
Individual Contribution Refunds 0
Political Party Contribution Refunds 0
Other Committee Contribution Refunds 0
Total Contribution Refunds 0
Other Disbursements 33,350
Total Disbursements 1,100,421
Cash Summary
Category Amount (USD)
Beginning Cash On Hand 0
Current Cash On Hand 0
Net Contributions 35,390
Net Operating Expenditures 1,045,512
Debts/Loans Owed By Campaign 1,043,472
Debts/Loans Owed To Campaign 0

2019 Chicago mayoral campaign[edit]

In March 2018, Wilson formally announced that he will run for a second time for Mayor of Chicago running against Emmanuel in the 2019 mayoral election.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson was born in Gilbert, Louisiana. He moved to Chicago in 1965. He is the current chairman of the Trustee Board of Chicago Baptist Institute International. Wilson continues to reside in Chicago with his wife of 18 years.


  1. ^ BusinessMakers, MusicMakers - Willie L. Wilson The HistoryMakers. July 16, 2008. Accessed June 4, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c With White House in his sights, Willie Wilson heads to Iowa Chicago Sun Times. June 1, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Willie Wilson selling up-by-the-bootstraps story in Chicago mayor race Chicago Tribune. February 13, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Meet mayoral candidate Willie Wilson, the anti-politician RedEye. February 11, 2015. Accessed June 6, 2015.
  5. ^ Sharecropper’s son turned successful businessman, Wilson wants ‘equal opportunity for all’ Chicago Sun Times. February 9, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  6. ^ 2015 Municipal General - 2/24/15 -- Mayor Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Chicago businessman Willie Wilson ready to challenge Emanuel in mayor's race WLS-TV. November 19, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  8. ^ Race for Chicago Mayor: Willie Wilson says Emanuel is ‘an old snake in new skin’ WGN-TV February 18, 2015. June 3, 2015.
  9. ^ Willie Wilson: Not even President Obama could convince me to back Rahm Chicago Sun Times. June 1, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Key Chicago Figure, Despite a Plea by Obama, Gives a Lift to Emanuel’s Rival The New York Times. March 12, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "Details for Committee ID : P60007515". Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ Willie Wilson, third in Chicago mayor's race, exploring presidential run Chicago Tribune. May 12, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  13. ^ Willie Wilson Throws Hat In the Ring to Bid for President Chicago Defender. May 12, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  14. ^ Chicago businessman Willie Wilson running for president WGN-TV. June 1, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  15. ^ Greenberg, Eric (February 14, 2016). "Long-shot candidates look beyond New Hampshire". MSNBC. NBC Universal. Retrieved May 30, 2016. Despite his larger reach, De La Fuente shares one thing in common with his fellow New Hampshire long shots: None of them will appear on a ballot in South Carolina’s “First in the South” primaries on February 20 and 27, where the cost is far more prohibitive than last Tuesday’s $1,000 entry fee. The lone South Carolina curiosity will be Willie Wilson, a self-made Chicago businessman, who will appear on the Democratic ballot along with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. As in New Hampshire, the former Maryland governor’s name will remain on the ballot despite having suspended his campaign after the Iowa caucuses. Wilson previously finished third in the 2015 Chicago mayoral race, and he is the longtime host of the Windy City’s television gospel music show “Singsation.” Reached by phone in South Carolina yesterday, Wilson said, “I’ll be happy if I get 20 percent or so of the delegates … I’m hoping I can win it.” Wilson, who recalls going from mopping floors at McDonald’s to owning five franchises of his own, knows the road ahead will be difficult. “I believe anything is possible, but I come on this journey to work hard and have faith.” 
  16. ^ Thomas, Charles (January 31, 2016). "CHICAGO'S WILLIE WILSON DRUMS UP SUPPORT IN IOWA CAUCUS". WLS-TV. American Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 30, 2016. The Iowa caucuses are just one day away and all of the big-name candidates are prepping for the first official contest of the 2016 presidential race. Among the Democratic candidates is Chicago businessman Willie Wilson. "We keep going. We're here to stay. We're not going anywhere," Wilson said Sunday. While fellow Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been exchanging jabs about who is the most electable to the White House, Wilson said the National Democratic Party is doing everything it can to stop him from getting traction. "I been turned down eight different times from speaking in Iowa, that's including the debates," Wilson said. Wilson, who is a millionaire, was the first candidate in either party with television ads in Iowa, spending hundreds of thousands of his own dollars. "We're not accepting any money from major corporations," he said. "I'm financing this here 99.9 percent of my own money." His staff blames the Hillary Clinton operatives for silencing and keeping Wilson off the ballot in southern states where African-American voters could be the difference. "He will split the vote between Hillary Clinton and Dr. Willie Wilson and they don't want that," said Nina Morris, of the Wilson campaign. However, Chicago-based political consultant Delmarie Cobb--a Clinton supporter--said the Wilson campaign's disorganization is its worst enemy: "He did not put all of his infrastructure in place," Cobb said. "So he can't necessarily blame it on the Democratic Party." Wilson--a one-time Louisiana cotton-picker who made a fortune in Chicago--still believes he can win primaries in southern states where the Democratic party is dominated by African-Americans. 
  17. ^ Strausburg, Chinta (March 29, 2018). "Dr. Willie Wilson throw hat into mayoral ring". Chicago Crusader. Retrieved March 30, 2018. 

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