Cover art for podcast Neal Runs For Mayor

Neal Runs For Mayor

24 EpisodesProduced by Wailin Wong & Shaun HildnerWebsite

Go behind the scenes of Neal Sáles-Griffin's quest to become mayor of Chicago. Follow along as a first-time candidate navigates the byzantine world of Chicago politics, and hear from Neal's colleagues, friends, family—and Neal himself.

episodes iconAll Episodes

BONUS: Neal Did Things Differently

April 11th, 2019


In the last of our election post-mortem bonuses, we hear from a data scientist, a filmmaker, and Neal's mom about the work they did on the campaign and what surprised them about the experience.

BONUS: Kina Collins on Political Courage

April 4th, 2019


Kina Collins is a Chicago activist who's focused much of her work on gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform. In this bonus episode, she …

BONUS: Paul Vallas on endorsements

March 28th, 2019


Wailin sits down with former mayoral candidate and friend of Neal, Paul Vallas, to discuss his public support of Lori Lightfoot for the April 2 …

What's Next

March 21st, 2019

As Chicago awaits the mayoral run-off on April 2, Neal isn't wasting any time in getting to work. He drops by to share his plans for what he's …

Election Night

February 28th, 2019

On February 26, Neal hosted friends and family for a party to say thank you and to watch the election returns. There was charcuterie, laughter, a few tears, and a lot of love. Not too shabby for a candidate who was …

Show Your Work

February 21st, 2019

We've arrived at the final week for Neal, the longshot candidate who was the 14th and final mayoral hopeful to make it onto the ballot for this …

A Receipt for Your Taxes

February 14th, 2019

Neal is getting ready to unveil another big project—a visual explainer for how the Chicago budget works and where that $22 billion ends up. He's also starting to make the rounds at mayoral candidate forums and media …

Neal Sáles-Griffin Has A Cold

February 7th, 2019

Campaign tech wizard and behind-the-scenes fixer Raghu Betina sits down to talk about an app he's building that started as an internal tool for the …


January 31st, 2019

The Chicago mayoral ballot has been set at 14 candidates, with Neal as the last name added. He now has just four weeks to get out the vote. Hear from Claire Feinberg, who's stepped up as campaign manager, about how the …

The Neal Appeal

January 24th, 2019

We're here at the end of all things: Neal's final hearing at the Board of Elections. And in a twist that no one on his team saw coming, he lands a spot on the ballot for Chicago mayor. Hear how it all went down that …

A Motion at the Eleventh Hour

January 22nd, 2019

Go inside the Board of Elections hearing room on Thursday, January 17 as Neal makes his case (again) to get on the ballot. Come for the emotional …

The Sky Would Have To Open Up

January 17th, 2019


Today—Thursday, January 17—is the day of Neal's final hearing at the board of elections to determine whether he'll get on the ballot. When we last left off, he was about 2,400 signatures short and waiting to hear an …

The Final Sprint?

January 3rd, 2019

Neal and his team spent long days at the board of elections, defending their 18,000 signatures from a ballot challenge mounted by candidate Willie …

A Cesspool for Human Error

December 20th, 2018

Neal filed over 18,000 signatures to get on the ballot, but they were challenged by mayoral candidate Willie Wilson. Now Neal and a team of …

Neal Files For Mayor

December 6th, 2018

Neal has filed his signatures to be an official candidate for Chicago mayor in 2019. Now it's time to tackle petition challenges from other …

Chance and Kanye

November 22nd, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! Today we have a short conversation between Neal and Wailin that didn't fit into our previous episodes. They discuss how progressive candidate Amara Enyia scored high-profile endorsements from Chance …

Midterms, Money, and Progress

November 8th, 2018

Neal takes a short pause from signature collection to discuss what he noticed around voter turnout and engagement on midterm election day. He also …

Signature Moves

October 25th, 2018

Every candidate for Chicago mayor needs 12,500 valid signatures to get onto the ballot. That’s already a huge undertaking before you even get to the potential legal challenges, ballot order lottery, and other …

Invent the Future

October 11th, 2018

This is the story of how Neal decided to run for mayor of Chicago, with cameos from a famous computer scientist, Neal’s parents, and others who …

BONUS - The Van Dyke Verdict

October 10th, 2018

Neal sits down with Shaun to share his reaction to the October 5 guilty verdict in the Jason Van Dyke case. The Chicago police officer was convicted …


September 27th, 2018

The plan for Neal's campaign launch event was to give remarks for around 10 minutes and then take questions. But nerves took over and 85 long minutes later, it was clear that something had gone wrong. In this episode, …

BONUS: The Rahm Bombshell

September 20th, 2018

On September 4, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unexpectedly announced he was not going to run for a third term. Not too long before that, Rahm and Neal …

Nobody Nobody Sent

September 13th, 2018

We're Shaun and Wailin, two audio producers in Chicago who were surprised and excited to learn our friend Neal Sáles-Griffin was running for mayor of Chicago. We had lots of questions about what it takes to run a …

Neal Runs For Mayor - Teaser

July 24th, 2018


Coming soon: A new podcast that follows the mayoral campaign of lifelong Chicagoan Neal Sáles-Griffin. You'll hear from his friends and family—as …

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