CTU president: Illness gave her renewed outlook

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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis says she has a renewed focus on improving education after serious illness forced her to drop out of the running for Chicago mayor.

Lewis spoke Monday before the City Club of Chicago. The outspoken union leader was seen as Mayor Rahm Emanuel's toughest challenger until she was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year.

She says she's continued chemotherapy treatments. She appeared noticeably thinner, which she joked about before the crowd of civic and business leaders.

Lewis says CTU has a contract to negotiate this year and she's pushing for an elected school board.

Lewis is backing aldermanic candidates and one of Emanuel's Feb. 24 challengers, Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia. Also running are Alderman Bob Fioretti, businessman Willie Wilson and activist William Walls.

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