On Tuesday (April 2), the Windy City elected a new mayor after a bitter race in which a progressive Democrat backed by Bernie Sanders won the keys to the Chicago mayor’s office.
Progressive Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson beat Paul Vallas, the former Chicago Public Schools CEO, and moderate Democrat, to win the Chicago mayoral race and replace Chicago’s outgoing mayor Lori Lightfoot, who finished third overall.
Vallas received the support of the Chicago Police Union and major business groups, while Johnson had the Chicago Teachers Union’s support.
Tuesday ended a political failure that had played out over months for Lightfoot, as she became the first Chicago mayor in four decades to lose her reelection bid.
Lightfoot lost Chicago’s Mayoral election in February after she finished in third place, behind Johnson, a progressive Democrat, and Vallas.
On Tuesday, Johnson defeated Vallas, a party colleague, in the runoff that decided who would acquire leadership in the Windy City.
Over the weekend, both candidates attempted to persuade undecided voters.
Johnson, who received the endorsement of Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), defeated Vallas after neither received a majority in the primary, forcing a runoff.
Lightfoot, who lost her reelection bid five points behind Johnson in February’s mayoral election, had her campaign marred by rampant crime in Chicago.
The windy city’s crime rate skyrocketed during her tenure.
In 2021, there were 797 homicides in Chicago. The figure hadn’t reached such levels in 25 years, according to data from the Chicago Police Department.