Perhaps never before have Chicago’s mayoral race activities been as convoluted and confusing as those taking place ahead of the 2019 primary.

There were the dozen or so candidates who jumped into the race early with plans to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But Emanuel refused to play along and in September announced he was not running. That led to more candidate announcements that have led to some 17 mayoral wannabes — two whom had to inconveniently run for a different office first, before they could jump into the mayoral event.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who announced Wednesday, is the latest the anti-Hamlet: To be or not to be a candidate for mayor was never in question. So impatient was she that a video for her upcoming mayoral campaign leaked just days before voters would go to the polls and re-elect her to the statewide office.

The voters dutifully played along. Mendoza was re-elected to the office she wanted to win, but clearly does not want to hold. And voters did so in such large numbers — 22,000 more votes than Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle received in Chicago — that Mendoza’s boosters are using her re-election to the job she does not want as evidence she could win the one she apparently intends to keep, the job of a big-city mayor.

Confused? It’s hard not to be. But the cold fact is we should almost be accustomed to this by now. After all, Preckwinkle paved the way.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.