Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot loses reelection bid

 March 2, 2023

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was something of a liberal superstar, with supporters celebrating her status as being the first black and gay woman to lead the city.

However, her star was extinguished this week after voters in the city handed Lightfoot a political disaster. 

Voters will decide on Lightfoot's replacement on April 4

According to NBC News, Lightfoot made history on Tuesday when she became the first Chicago mayor since 1983 to lose her reelection bid.

City residents will go back to the polls on April 4 for a run-off election between former Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas, who previously served as CEO of Chicago schools.

NBC News described the differences between Johnson and Vallas as being ideologically "stark." It noted that whereas Vallas is known as "a moderate law-and-order candidate," Johnson has "unabashedly progressive agenda."

Vallas is endorsed by the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and declared on Tuesday, "We will have a safe Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America."

Poll: Only 37% feel "somewhat" or "very safe"

The network noted that polling data shows Vallas' message appears to be resonating with Chicagoan and he is favored to win next month.

A recent survey conducted by the Chicago Sun-Times, WBEZ, Telemundo Chicago and NBC5 found that 44% of respondents ranked crime as the city's main issue.

This included 61% of white voters, 30% of Black voters and 37% of Hispanic voters. Meanwhile, only 37% of respondents said that they feel either "somewhat" or "very safe." In contrast, 35% said they feel "not safe" at all.

NBC News also pointed out that Chicago has seen an upswing in violence during Lightfoot's time in office, murders reaching a 25-year-high in 2021.

Lightfoot blames loss on racism and sexism

Fox News reported that for her part, Lightfoot attributed Tuesday's outcome at least in part to racism and sexism. When asked at a press conference if she had been treated unfairly, Lightfoot responded, "I’m a Black woman in America. Of course."

Fox News noted that this far from being the first time that Lightfoot has blamed her problems on racial and sexual bigotry.

In 2021 she said that "about 99%" of criticism directed towards her was rooted in sexism and racism. Lightfoot repeated that claim the following year.

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