Posted on February 27, 2019

Chicago’s Next Mayor Will Be a Black Woman

Reid Wilson, The Hill, February 26, 2019

Two African American women will face off in April for the right to become Chicago’s 45th mayor after advancing in Tuesday’s primary election.

With 1916 of 2169 precincts reporting, Lori Lightfoot, a former Chicago Police Board president and assistant United States Attorney, led the field of 14 candidates with 17.5 percent of the vote.

Toni Preckwinkle, the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, was holding on to second place with 15.9 percent of the vote.


Lightfoot, who has held several appointed offices but has never won elective office, ran on a pledge to root out corruption and dysfunction at City Hall. She cast herself as an outsider at a time when several insiders, including Preckwinkle, were forced to defend their ties to indicted aldermen and other elected officials.

Preckwinkle began the race with the highest name recognition. First elected to the Chicago City Council in 1991, she won the presidency of the Cook County Board — a county-wide office — in 2010. She had support from Valerie Jarrett, the former top aide to President Barack Obama, and Tina Tchen, who served as First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff.

But Preckwinkle faced criticism for her ties to Alderman Ed Burke, who faces federal corruption charges and who directed contributions to Preckwinkle’s campaign, and for her slow response to a chief of staff who had been accused of sexual harassment. Preckwinkle eventually fired the former aide.