A former assistant to Mayor Harold Washington has thrown his hat into next year’s mayoral race, hoping to duplicate his former boss’ historic run.

Bill “Dock” Walls announced his candidacy Sunday in downtown Chicago.

Walls, 48, ran twice previously for city clerk, and currently serves as director of the Committee for a Better Chicago, a political organization. The South Side native has positioned himself as a reformer. Mayor Daley has not yet announced if he will run for re-election.

Walls was 25 when he became an assistant to Mayor Washington, who was the city’s first black mayor, and died of a heart attack in 1987. Eugene Sawyer, a former 6th Ward alderman, was selected to serve out Washington’s term, becoming the city’s second black mayor. The current Mayor Daley defeated Sawyer in 1989. Walls, if victorious, would become only the third black mayor in the city’s history.

The third of seven children born to Mary and Williams Walls Jr., Walls graduated from Horace Mann Elementary School and Chicago Vocational High School. He is a graduate of Tuskegee University and is the married father of three and grandfather of four. His wife Pamela joined him Sunday for the announcement.

?”Terry Dean