At the conclusion of Tuesday’s election (April 2) in Chicago, the city will have its first Black woman serving as mayor. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is in a runoff against Lori Lightfoot, a lawyer who would also be Chicago’s first openly gay mayor.
The historic race pits Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle against Lori Lightfoot, a lawyer and former head of a police oversight board who also would become the city’s first openly gay mayor.
The free-for-all campaign has represented a sharp contrast to almost every past election in a city that has been synonymous with Democratic machine politics and bossism for nearly a century.
In the first-round election in February, Lightfoot, 56, and Preckwinkle, 72, were the top two vote-getters among 14 candidates. Lightfoot led the crowded field with 17.5 percent of the vote, while Preckwinkle received about 16 percent, qualifying them for Tuesday’s runoff election.
The wide-open succession battle began with a surprise retirement announcement last year from two-term Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a prolific fundraiser and former White House chief of staff to then-President Obama. The famously combative and profane Emanuel had earlier said he planned to run for a third four-year term.
Today’s election will also decide 15 aldermanic races as well. Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was expected to run for a third term but amid city scandals and a lowering approval rate, the former President Barack Obama staffer decided to step down.
Polls close at 7pm.