Lightfoot toppled in Chicago mayoral contest

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot greeted voters on Tuesday, Feb. 27 as polls were open for citywide elections. (Photo courtesy of @LoriLightfoot Twitter)

Incumbent Lori Lightfoot will not advance to Chicago’s April mayoral runoff, after finishing third in Tuesday’s election.

Lightfoot will be a one-term mayor and becomes the first elected incumbent Chicago mayor to not be reelected.

With only 14 percent of the votes, Lightfoot finished third behind top vote-getter Paul Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, and Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner.  Vallas finished with 35 percent of the vote and Johnson with 20 percent.

An April 4 runoff is necessary because none of the nine candidates on Tuesday’s ballot finished with more than 50 percent of the vote.

Lightfoot gave her concession speech at 8:45 p.m.  The Associated Press called the race for Vallas less than an hour after the polls closed.

Finishing in fourth place was Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Lightfoot’s fate Feb. 28 was a stunning turn from her dominating win in 2019, when she carried every ward in the city in crushing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Vallas focused his campaign on crime and safety, attacking Lightfoot’s performance and gaining the endorsement of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police.

Johnson pushed the need for investment in marginalized neighborhoods citing the racial disparity in incarcerations and lack of economic opportunity in communities.

Paul Vallas (Courtesy of @PaulVallas Twitter)

Brandon Johnson (Courtesy of @BrandonCCD1 Twitter)