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Lori Lightfoot elected Chicago mayor in historic win

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She will be the first black woman to lead Chicago

Lori Lightfoot arrives on stage before speaking on election night.
AFP/Getty Images

In a historic moment for Chicagoans, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot defeated Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in a mayoral runoff on Tuesday. Chicago is now the largest U.S. city to elect a black woman as its mayor. When Lightfoot takes office, she will also be the city’s first black woman and openly gay person to lead as mayor.

Lightfoot, who has never been elected to any public office, won 73 percent of the vote to Preckwinkle’s 26 percent, according to vote totals. Lightfoot swept all 50 wards too. Voter turnout was about 31 percent. In the municipal election on February 26, voter turnout was about 35 percent.

During her acceptance speech, Lightfoot said:

“We can and we will give our neighborhoods, all of our neighborhoods, the same time and attention that we give to the downtown. We can and will make sure our neighborhoods and our neighbors, all of our neighbors, are invested in each other.

The development-focused Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be replaced by someone who’s a bit more cautious. Throughout Lightfoot’s campaign, she’s been critical of the controversial tax-increment financing (TIF) tool, Elon Musk’s high-speed O’Hare tunnel, and the tight grip alderman have on development and zoning issues.