Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for a second term as mayor of Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
According to published reports, Lightfoot, a lifelong Democrat, lost Tuesday’s election by 17,000 votes behind former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.
Vallas and Johnson advance to a runoff election on April 4 to decide who will become Chicago’s 57th mayor.
Lightfoot conceded the election in a speech on Tuesday night. She was the first Black female and first lesbian to serve as mayor of Chicago in the city’s history.
“Obviously, we didn’t win the election. But I stand here with my head held high and my heart full of thanks,” she told her supporters.
Lightfoot’s one-term as mayor of Chicago was a disaster. She was heavily criticized for her mishandling of the COVID lockdowns, refusing to reopen public schools, and her efforts to defund the police. Her anti-police stance caused officers to rage quit, leaving 1,700 police vacancies, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In his speech, Vallas asked the crowd to give the outgoing mayor a round of applause.
Vallas, who comes from a family of 4 police officers, including his wife, promised to return Chicago to its former glory. He will start by hiring more police officers to make the streets safe again.
“Public safety is the fundamental right of every American,” Vallas said. “It is a civil right, and it is the principle responsibility of government. We will have a safe Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America.”
Lightfoot previously accused Vallas of being a closeted Republican — even though he’s been a Democrat his entire life, the Sun-Times reported.
Political pundits say Lightfoot lost the election when she attended a dinner hosted by drill rapper Lil Durk last month.
Chicago residents were disappointed that Lightfoot attended an event hosted by a known gang member who has boasted about killing his “opps” in his rap lyrics.
One person tweeted: “Taking a pic with someone who is promoting violence in the city that your ‘trying’ to stop [laughing crying emoji].”
Another person directed his comment to Lightfoot: “So the Black Disciples support you?”
A couple of things a) have you ever listened to his music? He outright encourages the gang violence you are supposed to be stopping (you get an F for that assignment)
b) Jesus how bad are your internals with African Americans?
c) VOTE FOR VALLAS
— Raymond Grenier (@Grenie12Raymond) February 15, 2023
Here you are with a murderer who makes his money promoting a gang lifestyle of killing and drugs. This lifestyle choice keeps the black community from succeeding as a whole. For every one lildurk there’s 1000s of lives wasted. Jail or early death. Do better @chicagosmayor
— Frank Connors (@BigFrankConnors) February 15, 2023