Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for a second term as Chicago mayor Tuesday, as former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson advanced to a runoff on April 4.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to be mayor,” said Lightfoot, the first Black woman and gay person to be elected Chicago mayor.
Lightfoot spent much of the campaign asking voters to give her a chance to finish the work she started before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic collapse it triggered, staggered Chicago. But she was unable to overcome the serious headwinds caused by the surge of crime in Chicago that began as the pandemic swept the city and shut down schools and businesses.
According to unofficial results from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Vallas led Tuesday’s race with 34%, Johnson was at 20% and Lightfoot stood at 17%.
Addressing a packed house at his Austin campaign event Tuesday night, Johnson told supporters, “We have shifted the political dynamics in this city.”
“We are finally going to retire this tired tale of two cities,” Johnson said to loud cheers. “Paul Vallas is the author of the tale of two cities.”
In his victory speech, Vallas touted his record leading school districts across the nation and vowed to restore “true public safety” in Chicago by restoring residents’ trust in the Chicago Police Department.
“We will make Chicago the safest city in America,” Vallas said, echoing a promise made by Lightfoot throughout the campaign. “I’m running to be the mayor of all Chicago.”
Our politics team of Heather Cherone, Nick Blumberg and Joanna Hernandez takes on the Chicago municipal election and more.