Lori Lightfoot’s stint as the Mayor of Chicago is gradually coming to a halt, as the 60-year-old has become the first incumbent to lose a reelection bid in 40 years.
Lightfoot, both the first openly gay and Black woman to be named mayor of Chicago, announced her decision to concede in the mayoral election, which closed on Tuesday (Feb. 28). As a result, Lightfoot, who fell behind opponents Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson in the race, will not participate in the run-off to determine the next leader of The Windy City.
The politician stood before her base of supporters amid the realization that she would not amass enough votes to make the run-off, voicing her appreciation for their support and her pride in the work she and her staff had accomplished during her tenure in office. “Regardless of tonight’s outcome, we fought the right fights, and we put this city on a better path,” she said. “Now, as we all know in life, in the end, you don’t always win every battle. But you never regret taking on the powerful and bringing in the light.”
Lightfoot’s term coincided with an uptick in crime in Chicago, a metric both opponents attacked the incumbent for and that many attribute as a key component in her inability to retain her seat in office. The Chicago mayoral runoff election is scheduled for April, with Vallas and Johnson facing off against one another.
The Ohio native first took office in 2019 after defeating Toni Preckwinkle, prior to which she had enjoyed more than two decades working in the public sector.
Lightfoot, whose daughter currently attends high school in Chicago, intends to remain a citizen of the city once her tenure is complete and has voiced her support for whichever succeeding mayor replaces her in office.