History will be made in Chicago’s City Hall one way or another after the Windy City’s mayoral election on Tuesday. Either Lori Lightfoot or Toni Preckwinkle, two Black women, will be elected mayor of Chicago in April.
According to the Board of Election Commissioners for Chicago, Lightfoot won 17.48% of the vote and Preckwinkle had 15.96% with 95% of precincts reporting, which means they will have a runoff election on April 2. The winner will determine who will replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is not running for reelection.
Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, said on Twitter, “Congratulations to
@ToniForChicago on making it to the runoff election. No matter which one of us wins, Chicago will make history on April 2nd by electing the first Black woman mayor. It’s long overdue.”
On Wednesday morning, Lightfoot told ABC News that she wanted to separate herself from the city’s reputation for political corruption.
“I am an independent reform candidate. I do not represent the past,” she said. “I am not tied to the broken political machine. I didn’t aspire to climb the ranks of the Cook County Democratic Party to be the party boss. I am not affiliated with Ed Burke, or Joe Berrios or anyone else who really represents the old corrupt Chicago way.”
Preckwinkle, also speaking with ABC News, ran down her resume to convince voters that she deserved to be Chicago’s next mayor.
“As executive of the county, I have managed the second-largest county in the second-largest county in the country for the last eight years and we’ve done that reducing expenses by $850 million, reducing our workforce and our indebtedness,” she said. “I have both local government experience and management experience in a large unit of government and I think that those are things that will appeal to the voters.”
Both women are progressive candidates and stand behind Democratic policies like a $15 minimum wage and legalizing marijuana.
If Lightfoot wins, she will be the first LGBT mayor of Chicago. She is for massive police reform but has been accused of giving “a personal loyalty oath to Rahm Emanuel,” which she has denied.
Preckwinkle has said she’s been an advocate for police reform, claiming she “took on the police department and politicians to expose the truth about Laquan McDonald.” However, she has been accused of “inflating” her role in the McDonald case.
Nonetheless, either of these women would be a win for Chicago. See the reaction from Twitter below.
The next mayor of Chicago is going to be a Black woman.— Openly Black Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) February 27, 2019
No matter what happens next, Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, will elect its first Black woman mayor and may elect a Black queer woman to lead the city. Hell of a way to finish Black History Month.#LoriLightfoot #ToniPreckwinkle— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 27, 2019
The next Mayor of Chicago will be a Black woman, we’re witnessing history during Black History Month and unfortunately it’s going over most people’s heads.— Jason Hosey (@The_CoachHosey) February 27, 2019
Either way, Chicago’s next Mayor will make history as the first black woman to lead the City of Big Shoulders! So proud of my hometown!! Good luck to @LightfootForChi and @ToniPreckwinkle! #Chicago #mykindoftown— Connie Jackson (@cjaxuk) February 27, 2019
Congratulations to my hometown CHICAGO,on getting your first black woman mayor!!! More black history!!— wild wild hundos (@KeithDunning4) February 27, 2019
This is how you close out black history month. My city Chicago Illinois Will elect a black woman to be the mayor of the city. One of these women will joined the ranks of Harold Washington. https://t.co/S6KPFyXQy3— Reginald Richardson Jr (@ReggieRichJr) February 27, 2019
Interesting times. In Chicago a field of 14 ran for mayor, including Bill Daley of the Daley dynasty. Two women rose to the top for a run off. Chicago's next mayor, either way, will be a black woman. What does this say about our national future?— Tish Aguilar (@MommaTish) February 27, 2019
Amazing new possibilities.