Dems fume After ‘Historic’ Election in Blue State
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first Black woman and first openly gay person to serve in the position, lost her re-election bid Tuesday in a historic defeat.
Paul Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago schools, and Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union, will face off in the April 4 runoff election. Vallas ran as a moderate law–and–order candidate, while Johnson ran on an unabashedly progressive agenda.
Lightfoot was dogged by persistent crime during her term. Her tenure was marked by a historic spike in crime, with Chicago recording the most killings in a quarter–century and more than 3,500 shootings in 2021, which was 1,400 more than in 2019.
Lightfoot had lost the support she once held along Chicago’s lakeshore neighborhoods and with major labor unions working against her. Recent polls showed 63% of Chicagoans said they didn‘t feel safe.
The Republican Party has long praised Lightfoot for her handling of the pandemic but has criticized her for failing to address the city’s crime problem, saying she has been too soft on criminals and too lenient on police misconduct.
The Republican Party has also been critical of Lightfoot for her clashes with institutional interests, from the Chicago Teachers Union to the media to the police rank and file. Republicans have long argued that Lightfoot’s policies have been too liberal and have led to an increase in crime.
Vallas’s victory is a stark reminder that Chicagoans are looking for change. He has promised to make Chicago the safest city in America and has the backing of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.
It remains to be seen how Johnson’s unabashedly progressive agenda will fare in the runoff election. But one thing is certain: Chicagoans are ready for a change.