Lori Lightfoot won the Chicago Mayoral runoff Tuesday, defeating multiple career politicians and prominent local Democratic leaders. Lightfoot will be the first black woman to serve as Mayor in Chicago, as well as the first openly gay person.
The race for Chicago Mayor started with over fourteen candidates. Lightfoot faced Preckwinkle in a historical election for Chicago, with a runoff including two black women, while previously black women had never been elected to the office. Preckwinkle came into the election as a political insider, as a head of the Cook County Board as well as chairing the Cook County Democratic Party. However, with 97% of precincts in, Lightfoot had defeated her runoff opponent Preckwinkle receiving over 73% of the votes, and winning a majority in every precinct.
Lightfoot’s win came as a surprise to many people, as early in the race she had little momentum or name recognition. A former federal prosecutor, Lightfoot has never before held public office. In an election with many established candidates, Lightfoot benefited from her lack of political experience, drawing many people to her campaign because of her outsider viewpoint and fresh perspective on the campaign trail. Recent corruption scandals within the Chicago government also aided Lightfoot’s campaign according to her senior advisor Don Rose, who explained that the news has worked against candidates who were apart of the current political climate.
Lightfoot’s campaign is excited and hopeful for their win, which they have said is a triumph for all Chicago residents. At her acceptance speech Tuesday night Lightfoot declared “Today, you did more than make history, you created a movement for change.”
Media: NBC 4/3/2019; NY Times 4/3/2019; CNN 4/3/2019