Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Concedes Defeat, Runoff Election Set for April 4th
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for re-election on Tuesday, bringing an end to her historic run as the city’s first Black woman and first openly gay mayor. Lightfoot conceded defeat Tuesday night at her party in downtown Chicago, saying, “Obviously we didn’t win the election today, but I stand here with my head held high and a heart full of gratitude. I will be rooting and praying for our next mayor to deliver for the people of the city for years to come.”
The election will now proceed to a runoff on April 4th between Paul Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago schools, and Brandon Johnson, a Cook County Commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union.
Vallas, 69, and Johnson, 46, have both run on platforms of public safety and crime-reduction. Vallas has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, and has promised to make Chicago “the safest city in America” by providing the police with resources and support and building a bond between the police department and the community. Johnson has called for Police Superintendent David Brown to be fired, and has spoken in favor of investing in the people of the city.
Lightfoot, who was initially elected in 2019 on a platform of reform, has faced criticism for her hard-headed demeanor and lack of relationships with other city officials. In an interview with the New Yorker prior to the election, Lightfoot said, “I am a black woman — let’s not forget. Certain folks, frankly, don’t support us in leadership roles.”
More than 100,000 mail-in ballots still remain to be counted, and could potentially affect the election outcome. Vallas currently holds a comfortable lead, but Johnson remains well within striking distance. Regardless of the final results, Lightfoot will become the city’s first one-term mayor in four decades.
0. “Lori Lightfoot becomes the first Chicago mayor in 40 years to lose re-election” NBC News, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-becomes-first-chicago-mayor-40-years-lose-re-election-rcna71997
1. “Lori Lightfoot loses reelection — with Vallas to face Johnson in runoff” Chicago Sun-Times, 1 Mar. 2023, https://chicago.suntimes.com/elections/2023/2/28/23619711/chicago-mayor-lori-lightfoot-vallas-johnson-april-4-runoff
2. “Lightfoot's loss celebrated by fellow Chicago Democrat: ‘Common sense can prevail'” Fox News, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/media/lightfoot-loss-celebrated-fellow-chicago-democrat-common-sense-prevail
3. “Will Lightfoot voters go to Johnson or Vallas?” WBEZ Chicago, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.wbez.org/stories/will-lightfoot-voters-go-next-to-johnson-or-vallas/109da78d-4580-4487-9176-6ee5db7b9860
4. “‘I'm a Black Woman in America': Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Blames Election Loss on Racism, Sexism” Yahoo Life, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/m-black-woman-america-chicago-151848786.html
5. “Vallas and Johnson Headed to Chicago Mayoral Runoff, Lightfoot Denied Second Term” WTTW News, 1 Mar. 2023, https://news.wttw.com/2023/02/28/vallas-johnson-have-early-leads-early-chicago-mayoral-vote-returns
6. “Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot loses re-election bid” BBC, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64806760