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.
An eye-popping map of the Chicago mayoral victory. Lori Lightfoot won all 50 wards in the city. https://t.co/OQk0gW8WV1— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) April 3, 2019
If you had told anyone Lightfoot 74 - Preckwinkle 26 would be the result of the runoff last fall people would have thought you were insane— Daniel Kay Hertz (@DanielKayHertz) April 3, 2019
Speeches about to start at Lori Lightfoot victory party. They’re playing NO SCRUBS. Bunch of her people up on stage including former client Albert Cleveland, whose murder conviction she got thrown out, and her former administrative assistant at Mayer Brown, Guadalupe Diaz.— Gregory Pratt (@royalpratt) April 3, 2019
Chicago has long been among the most segregated cities in the country.— ProPublica Illinois (@ProPublicaIL) April 3, 2019
But with today's elections, residents in Chicago & Illinois will now have African Americans serving as:
IL lt gov
IL atty gen
Cook Cty Board prez
Cook Cty state's atty
This campaign has been an incredible journey. We started out as underdogs, but our message of change resonated across the city. And today we have the chance to make history.— Lori Lightfoot (@LightfootForChi) April 2, 2019
Watch this video about our journey and then make sure to get the polls and vote before 7! #TeamLightfoot pic.twitter.com/U769fZunzH