Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her re-election bid on Tuesday night.
Lightfoot — the first incumbent mayor to lose in 40 years —received 16.4% of the vote, finishing behind former head of Chicago Public Schools Paul Vallas, who garnered 35%, and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who nabbed 20.2%.
“I feel a lot of love in this room as I’ve felt every step of the way,” Lightfoot said during her concession speech Tuesday night. “I’ve called Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas to congratulate them on their victories and advancing to the runoffs.”
“We were fierce competitors in these last few months,” she continued. “But I am rooting our next Mayor to deliver for the people of our city for years to come.”
BREAKING: Lori Lightfoot concedes defeat in Chicago Mayoral election
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) March 1, 2023
Over the weekend Lightfoot appeared to suggest her race and gender would play into election results in a statement to the New Yorker saying, “I am a black woman — let’s not forget … Certain folks, frankly, don’t support us in leadership roles.”
“Regardless of tonight’s outcome, we fought the right fights and we put this city on a better path,” the Chicago Mayor said, urging fellow mayors around the country not to fear being bold. Lightfoot further said serving as Chicago’s mayor was the “honor of a lifetime.”
“The last time we had an African American mayor in power was 40 years ago. It’s important for us not to repeat history,” Lightfoot said of her defeat.
When asked if she believed she had been treated unfairly Lightfoot replied, “I’m a black woman in America. Of course.”
“Lightfoot campaigned for mayor in 2019 by arguing crime was too high, saying she wanted to make Chicago the ‘safest big city in the country,” wrote the Chicago Tribune, referring to Lightfoot’s loss as a “political embarrassment.”
The outlet further characterized the Chicago mayor’s trajectory as “political rock star to rock bottom.”
“Homicides, mostly from gun violence, spiked dramatically in 2020 and 2021 from 500 murders in 2019 to 776 and 804 in the next two years, respectively. Shootings and carjackings also skyrocketed,” the outlet reported, noting an increase in crime during Lightfoot’s tenure in office.
“We have two very different approaches now of the two guys that are having the runoff,” said Diana Dejacimo, who was robbed at gunpoint in December in Lincoln Park. “One is very much police protection and support the police and the other one is more of a defund the police and self-rule. So we’ll see how it turns out, but I’m glad the city spoke out and said no more Lori Lightfoot.”
“We will have a safe Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America,” Vallas said after Lightfoot conceded, per CNN.
“If you voted for one of those other candidates, I want you to know that I’m running to be the mayor of you, too,” Johnson said.
Vallas will face Johnson in an April runoff election.