Mayor Lori Lightfoot loses re-election bid



Lori Lightfoot
Image: Lori Lightfoot

Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot will not seek a second term after failing to advance to a runoff election in April.

On April 4, there will be a runoff between Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, and Brandon Johnson, a commissioner in Cook County, since no candidate garnered more than 50% of the vote. The Chicago Teachers Union backs Johnson, while the Fraternal Order of Police backs Vallas.

First incumbent mayor to lose Chicago in over four decades

In 2019, the third largest city in the United States elected its first African-American woman and first open person to serve as mayor, Lightfoot. She supervised the development of Chicago’s first casino and helped bring the Red Line to the city’s South Side during her term in office. Opponents of Lightfoot said that she did not fulfill her campaign promise to transform City Hall, and they criticized her management of the COVID-19 epidemic. As far as we can determine, she is the first incumbent Chicago mayor to lose reelection in over four decades.

Lori Lightfoot told her supporters in her concession speech, “Clearly, we did not win the election tonight, but I stand here with my head held high and my heart full of gratitude.” She referred to her time in office as “the honor of a lifetime” and is pleased to declare that as mayor, “we fought the right fights and set our city on a better path.”

While killings and robberies increased soon before the election, Vallas pledged to improve police presence by removing David Brown as superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Johnson called for more investment in education and mental health, in addition to housing and police reform. Both individuals support the Democratic Party. According to The Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot said that Vallas was a shadow Republican due to the backing of the Fraternal Order of Police.


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