U-High Midway

Lightfoot faces Preckwinkle in historic run-off

Teddy Neer, Midway Reporter

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Chicago is poised to elect its first African-American woman as mayor in a runoff election to be held April 2. Despite finishing first at the citywide election on Feb. 26, former police board president Lori Lightfoot received only 17.54 percent of the needed majority, so she will face Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who received 16.04 percent.

Lori Lightfoot

Along with being the president of the Chicago Police Board, Ms. Lightfoot served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois and is the first openly lesbian Chicago mayoral candidate. Ms. Lightfoot advocates for affordable housing, an elected school board, investment in neighborhood schools, an increased minimum wage, and abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ms. Lightfoot hopes to introduce a Chicago casino and more mental health centers. She also plans to implement anti-gun violence programs, reforms in the police department and a tax on marijuana.

Ms. Preckwinkle served for 19 years as a Chicago alderman for the 4th Ward including Hyde Park, and was the first female president of the Cook County Board. Ms. Preckwinkle plans to create a Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to reduce crime, and advocates for equal funding to Chicago’s public schools, an elected School Board and an increased minimum wage.

U-High students have engaged in the election. Senior Campbell Phalen said he voted for Ms. Lightfoot and looks forward to the runoff election.

“I was thrilled to see her make it to the runoff and was actually fairly surprised,” Campbell said. “My brother works on campaigns for a living and told me that she probably wouldn’t make it to the runoff but that I should still vote for the candidate that I favored most. I’m glad I listened to his advice.”

In addition to mayor, elections were held for city treasurer, city clerk and aldermen for each of the city’s 50 wards.

The treasurer race will also have an April 2 runoff, as candidates Melissa Conyears-Ervin and Ameya Pawar received 44 percent and 42 percent of the votes respectively.

Toni Preckwinkle

The next aldermen for Chicago’s 50 wards were also decided. Chicago’s aldermen represent and improve the quality of life for the people in their wards, whether it be fixing potholes or settling zoning conflicts. In the 4th ward, which stretches from the South Loop to the Kenwood-Hyde Park area, incumbent Sophia King defended her position against challenger Ebony Lucas. In the 5th ward, which contains the Lab Schools, incumbent and Leslie Hairston, a U-High alumna, will face William Calloway in the runoff election. Hairston received 48.52 percent of the vote to Calloway’s 26.74 percent.

Anna Valencia was elected as city clerk.

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Lightfoot faces Preckwinkle in historic run-off