The late surging Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, is leading with 17 percent and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who had considerable party establishment support is running second with 16 percent. Two African-American women will face off for Mayor. Chicago had previously elected a female Mayor in 1979 and an African-American in 1983 and 1987. If she wins, Lightfoot will also be the city’s first openly gay Mayor.
Bill Daley, has just conceded the race, and is running in third place with 15 percent of the vote. Many had expected him to make the runoff on campaign cash and name recognition alone, but much like Republicans not wanting “another Bush”, voters in Chicago just did not like the idea of “another Daley.” One aspect I find interesting is that there is a scion of an old Democrat family who also ran and received about 8 percent of the vote, basically just doing well in his own home Ward, and his showing almost certainly cost Daley a spot in the runoff. I think Daley could have beaten Preckwinkle but probably not Lightfoot. He was the only candidate who really had negative ads run against him and it focused on the significant money donated to him by a Republican billionaire.
(If I lived in Chicago, I would have voted for Daley strategically, even though I think Paul Vallas was probably the best person to be Mayor. Most Republicans, to the extend they exist in Chicago, are believed to have voted for Willie Wilson, an African-American millionaire entrepreneur, who despite nominally running for President as a Democrat in 2016, later voted for Donald Trump. He finished fourth tonight.)
Finishing in fifth place with 9 percent is the ambitious State Comptroller Susana Mendoza. She had at one point been considered one of the co-favorites with Preckwinkle and a possible first Hispanic Mayor.
So, Chicago voters now have a choice between two candidates that 2/3 of voted against. Both women are considered “progressives” but this is probably going to be an insider vs. outsider battle with Preckwinkle, the one time outsider, now very much the insider, against first time candidate Lightfoot. Preckwinkle is considered heavily tied to the establishment and personally arrogant, so I think Lightfoot has a very good chance of winning as an agent of change. She was one of the small number of candidates who got into the race when it looked like Rahm Emanuel would be seeking a third term. Right now, I would bet on a Lightfoot win.A couple of weeks ago, she was expected to maybe finish 6th or 7th, so this is a pretty remarkable story. I do not know what kind of Mayor she will be, but I mostly want to see Preckwinkle lose.
And for anyone who might be wondering, longtime Alderman Ed Burke, currently under federal indictment, was reelected tonight outright against two opponents. Associations with him hurt several of the Mayoral candidates, but he is still liked in his home ward apparently…..
This dog posted a piece about possibly having Bill Daley bring the family name back to the mayor’s office in Chicago….
THAT is NOT happening….