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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for a second term Tuesday.
Her loss means Paul Vallas, a long-time public schools chief, and Cook County commissioner will advance to the April runoff.
Lightfoot finished third with 17.06% of the vote behind Vallas, who won 33.77 %, and Chicago Teachers Union organizer Johnson, who ended the night with 20.29% of the vote.
Lightfoot conceded but said that her race had a part to play in her shock defeat. “I’m a Black woman in America. Of course,” she replied when asked by a reporter if she had been treated unfairly, per the New Yorker. “Certain folks, frankly, don’t support us in leadership roles.”
Lightfoot conceded, adding that she is now “rooting and praying for the next mayor of Chicago.”
Lightfoot made history as the first Black woman and the first openly gay person to serve as mayor of a city. However, her tenure as mayor was plagued by controversy. Lightfoot faced backlash over her stance on policing, teacher pay and Covid-19 public safety policies.
Vallas’ tough stance on crime helped him rack up the votes. And after the runoff was announced, he promised to continue taking a hard line on the issue.
“Public safety is the fundamental right of every American. 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,” he said.
“It will not only come from providing the police with the resources and the support that they need, but from building the bond between the police department and the community so we have true community policing. … I will also … have zero tolerance when it comes to violating the law or violating the Constitution. And this is coming from a family of four police officers, including my wife.”
Johnson also celebrated the outcome of the vote.
“Well Chicago, we did it y’all. They said that this would never happen. I am so freakin’ proud because we did this. A few months ago, they said they didn’t know who I was. Well, if you didn’t know, now you know. … We have shifted the political dynamics in this city,” he said per The Chicago Sun-Times.
He added, “Tonight is about building a Chicago that truly invests in our people. The most radical thing we can do as a city is to love the people of Chicago. Loving people and investing in people — that is the way my father raised me. The finances of this city belong to the people of the city. So, we’re gonna invest in the people of the city.”