*Two Black women, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, beat 12 other candidates in a primary election Tuesday night, now both will face off in an historic April runoff for Chicago mayor.
Lightfoot earned 17.5% with 90K votes, and Preckwinkle earned 16% with 82K votes.
As reported by Reuters, Chicago Election Board spokesman, Jim Allen, noted that the racially diverse field of 14 was the largest of any Chicago mayoral election.
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Chicago’s mayoral race ends in runoff between two Black women. Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will face off in April. Watch #RolandMartinUnfiltered on #Facebook https://t.co/NZT1yHkylu… https://t.co/H8vkW9ylyG
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) February 27, 2019
Lightfoot, who was born in Ohio and also served as president of the Chicago Police Board, would also be the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, and it’s “not every day that a little black girl in a low-income family from a segregated steel town makes the runoff to be the next mayor,” she said.
She also served under current Mayor Rahm Emanuel as chair of the police accountability task force, per ebony.com, and she once told the Chicago Tribune that “There’s been nobody in the city that’s been a more vocal, persistent, demanding advocate for police reform and accountability than I have.”
Rahm Emanuel, mayor since 2011 and White House chief of staff in the Obama administration, previously announced that he would not seek a third term.
A Lightfoot-Preckwinkle runoff is “historic” said Jaime Domínguez, a political science professor at Northwestern University.
“It also sets up a showdown between the established machine candidate and the progressive bent on bringing ethics reform,” he said.
“We may not yet be at the finish line, but we should acknowledge that history is being made,” Preckwinkle said Tuesday night. “It’s clear we’re at a defining moment in our city’s history, but the challenges that our city faces are not simply ideological. It’s not enough to say Chicago stands at a crossroads. We need to fight to change its course.”
The runoff will be held on April 2.