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A New Mayor

In a runoff election on April 2, 2019, Lori Lightfoot became both the first female African American and openly gay mayor of Chicago.

With nearly all of the vote in, Lightfoot won 75% of the precincts. Her victory is especially notable because she will make Chicago the largest city in the country to be headed by a female African American and LGBTQ leader. Lightfoot will formally assume her new position as mayor towards the end of May.

Lightfoot competed against Toni Preckwrinkle in this election. As in many cities, the mayoral election was nonpartisan, meaning that no candidate ran with a party. After former mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced that he would not be running for reelection in September of 2018, the field of candidates became overpopulated. Nine candidates originally ran for the office, but, following the election in February 2019, no one won a majority of votes. As a result, a runoff was held between the two top vote-getters, Lightfoot and Preckwrinkle. This race was particularly notable because both Lightfoot and Preckwrinkle are African American women.

The mayor-elect ran on a platform advocating for greater public safety, more attention to public schools, and better investment in communities, especially on Chicago’s West and South Sides. She also vowed to fight the corruption of Chicago’s city hall.

Lightfoot is the former president of the Chicago Police Board. She was originally an assistant US attorney.

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