In a stunning upset, Lori Lightfoot won the top spot in the April 2nd runoff election for mayor of Chicago on Tuesday evening.
Lightfoot launched her campaign on May 10th, 2018, when incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel was expected to run for a third term. At the time, Lightfoot was best known for her work as a federal prosecutor and, more recently, as chair of the Police Accountability Task Force and president of the Chicago Police Board.
Lightfoot has focused her campaign on building a City government that works for everyone, regardless of race, zip code, or political clout. Lightfoot continued to emphasize this message after Emanuel dropped out of the race and several establishment candidates entered in the fall, and also after corruption charges against Ald. Ed Burke (14) rocked the race in the winter.
If Lightfoot wins on April 2nd, she will be the first African American woman and first LGBTQ+ person to be elected mayor of Chicago. Lightfoot has been endorsed by a number of independent, progressive leaders and groups, including Congresswoman Robin Kelly, former County Clerk David Orr, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32), Victory Fund, LPAC, Equality Illinois PAC, Indivisible Illinois 9th District, and Illinois Education Association Region 67. Lightfoot also received the endorsement of the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board.
“All of you here tonight stood with us when so many others said this day could never happen,” said Lightfoot. “That the field was too crowded, that there was no path for a new reformer without huge donors amidst a pack of establishment figures. That I had some good ideas, but just couldn’t win. And it’s true that it’s not every day that a little Black girl in a low-income family in an old steel town grows up to make the runoff election for mayor of the third-largest city in the country.”
“This election is about whether we are resigned to the status quo or resolved to fight for what’s right. This election is about leaving the crumbling machine in the past, once and for all, and demanding an independent, accountable City Hall that serves the people. It’s time to bring it home.”