Lori Lightfoot Is Elected Chicago Mayor, Becoming First Black Woman to Lead City
CHICAGO — Chicago became the largest American city ever to elect a black woman as its mayor as voters on Tuesday chose Lori Lightfoot, a former prosecutor, to replace Rahm Emanuel. When she takes office in May, Ms. Lightfoot also will be the city’s first openly gay mayor.
Ms. Lightfoot, who has never held elective office, easily won the race, overwhelming a better-known, longtime politician and turning her outsider status into an asset in a city with a history of corruption and insider dealings. Ms. Lightfoot, 56, beat Toni Preckwinkle, a former alderman who is president of the Cook County Board and who had for years been viewed as a highly formidable candidate for mayor.
For Chicago, Ms. Lightfoot’s win signaled a notable shift in the mood of voters and a rejection of an entrenched political culture that has more often rewarded insiders and dismissed unknowns. For many voters, the notion that someone with no political ties might become mayor of Chicago seemed an eye-opening counterpoint to a decades-old, often-repeated mantra about this city’s political order: “We don’t want nobody nobody sent.” ...
Ms. Lightfoot — Chicago’s 56th mayor — arrives at a pivotal moment for a Democratic city that has for the past eight years been led by Mr. Emanuel, who surprised many residents when he chose not to seek re-election. ...
Rarely does this city get new, unexpected mayors. So Chicagoans watched with curiosity and uncertainty about what a Lightfoot administration would truly look like. Ms. Lightfoot has portrayed herself as a progressive, who promised to usher in a new era of accountability and transparency at City Hall. At times, she seemed to be running against Chicago politics in the public imagination: A television ad used an image of a smoke-filled room and spoke darkly of the “Chicago machine.”
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