Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle came out on top of last night’s primary election in Chicago and will face off in the general election April 2, ensuring that Chicago’s next mayor will, for the first time ever, be a Black woman.
Lightfoot, former president of the Chicago Police board, led the field of 14 candidates Tuesday. Preckwinkle, a former alder and current president of the Cook County Board, was locked in a tight race for second with Bill Daley, the son and brother of former mayors. Daley conceded around 10 pm, however, setting up the historic general election.
Lightfoot said during a Tuesday speech that she and her supporters had showed the city what “change looks like,” according to Block Club Chicago. “We need to continue to have this very important dialogue about this city’s future, about the narrative of who we are going to be to break from the past and have a vision of the future that includes all of us in every neighborhood,” Lightfoot said in the speech. “This election was going to be about whether or not we were resigned to the status quo or if we were resolved to fight for what’s right. It’s about whether we will accept only investing in the Downtown while neighborhoods cry out for attention and resources or whether we’re committed to making all neighborhoods safe.”
If elected, Lightfoot would also be the city’s first openly gay mayor.
In a speech Tuesday, Preckwinkle said she will fight against the “powers-that-be” in Chicago, and that she’s running for her children and grandchildren, according to Block Club Chicago.
“I want to make sure they have access to a great education and real opportunities afterwards, that they’re safe and happy, that they’re thinking about their futures and not worried about their present,” Preckwinkle said in a speech Tuesday. “As your mayor, I can do something to make that hope a reality for all our children. Because this race isn’t about me — it’s about all of us. It’s about our shared vision for our city.”
Current Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced in September that he wouldn’t run for re-election, prompting the most crowded race in Chicago’s history.