Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot loses re-election bid | Elections News


Lightfoot fails to qualify for runoff in mayoral race, the place crime within the third largest US metropolis was a high concern.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has misplaced her bid to steer the USA’ third-largest metropolis for a second time period after failing to qualify for the runoff election in a race the place public security took centre stage.

Lightfoot got here in third within the mayoral election on Tuesday – behind Paul Vallas, a former colleges CEO, and Brandon Johnson, a Prepare dinner County commissioner – turning into the primary Chicago mayor to lose re-election since 1983.

Lightfoot’s loss alerts rising discontent in US cities the place crime charges rose and housing grew to become dearer amid rising financial hardship and inflation after the COVID-19 pandemic.

As not one of the candidates cleared 50 % of the votes in a crowded subject of contenders on Tuesday, Vallas and Johnson will face off in a runoff election in April.

Lightfoot made historical past 4 years in the past when she grew to become the primary Black lady and brazenly homosexual individual to steer the town of two.7 million folks.

She promised to place an finish to corruption and backroom dealing in native politics. However her tenure was marred by mounting challenges that confronted different main cities as nicely.

Crime charges, already a difficulty in Chicago, went up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with the town seeing 804 homicides in 2021, in comparison with 500 in 2019, in accordance with police knowledge. Almost 700 folks had been killed within the metropolis final 12 months, a decline from 2021 however nonetheless nicely above pre-pandemic ranges.

“No matter tonight’s final result, we fought the best fights and we put this metropolis on a greater path,” Lightfoot stated on Tuesday. Requested if she was handled unfairly due to her race and gender, Lightfoot stated: “I’m a Black lady in America. After all.”

Proper-wing politicians typically cite gun violence in Chicago – a Democratic stronghold – as a logo of what they see because the failure of liberal insurance policies.

Though each Vallas and Johnson establish as Democrats and the race is non-partisan, many Republicans celebrated Lightfoot’s loss on Tuesday.

“Lori Lightfoot. Crime doesn’t pay,” far-right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote on Twitter.

Lightfoot had clashed with the police union and lecturers’ union in her dealing with of the pandemic, sparking criticism from each conservatives and progressives.

The mayor confronted off in a authorized and political battle with the Fraternal Order of Police in 2021 over the town’s requirement for regulation enforcement officers to report their COVID-19 vaccination standing.

She additionally feuded with the teachers’ union early in 2022 over her push to return to in-person studying amid educators’ well being and security considerations.

The opponents who bested her on Tuesday had been respectively backed by the 2 unions. Vallas was supported by the police union, and Johnson was endorsed by the Chicago Lecturers Union.

The highest vote-getter, Vallas had made public security a focus of his marketing campaign.

“Public security is a human proper, and it’s the authorities’s accountability to make sure residents really feel protected and safe. Confronting the town’s crime drawback and making certain our residents’ security is my high precedence,” his marketing campaign web site reads.

On Tuesday, he pledged to “make Chicago the most secure metropolis in America”.

Johnson, who’s backed by progressive teams, has vowed to pursue a special method to public security by investing in social programmes, youth employment and mental health clinics to forestall crime.

“I’ll work with police and first responders to spend money on community-based interventions that de-escalate battle, scale back violence and make our neighborhoods safer,” his marketing campaign web site reads.

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