Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Ousted, Race Heads to Runoff

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Amid soaring crime and residents fleeing the city, Chicago voters overwhelmingly rejected current Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s bid for reelection. The race now heads to an April runoff.

Tuesday night, Lightfoot’s legacy was limited to one term when she failed to secure the votes needed to finish as one of the top two candidates.

It’s an embarrassing end for the mayor who made headlines when she was elected as the first black woman and openly gay person to serve as mayor of Chicago. With 99% of precincts reporting, Lightfoot garnered just over 17% of the vote per the Chicago Tribune.

She fell short of Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who took just over 20% of the vote, and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, who won with a strong 34% showing.

Lightfoot conceded just before 9:00 pm local time. “Obviously, we didn’t win the election. But I stand here with my head held high and my heart full of thanks,” she said to crowd of supporters.

Vallas waited for her concession before taking his victory lap. He campaigned on a strict law-and-order message that resonated with voters, who often ranked safety as a top issue.

“Public safety is the fundamental right of every American. It is a civil right, and it is the principle responsibility of government. We will have a safe Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America,” he said.

Backed by the Fraternal Order of Police, he also pledged a renewed focus on community policing.

“It will not only come from providing the police with the resources and the support that they need, but from building the bond between the police department and the community so we have true community policing.”

Just minutes later, Johnson declared his success in securing the second runoff spot. Also a Chicago Teachers Union organizer, Johnson quickly became the darling of progressives in the city.

“A few months ago, they said they didn’t know who I was. Well, if you didn’t know, now you know,” he began as he addressed a crowd of supporters chanting his name.

“Tonight is about building a Chicago that truly invests in our people. The most radical thing we can do as a city is to love the people of Chicago. Loving people and investing in people — that is the way my father raised me. The finances of this city belong to the people of the city. So, we’re gonna invest in the people of the city.”

The runoff presents a stark contrast between the future of education and how policing is handled in the city. The election will take place on April 4th.

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