Newly elected Chicago mayor: Victory means ‘a city reborn’

Newly elected Chicago mayor: Victory means ‘a city reborn’

Newly elected Chicago mayor: Victory means ‘a city reborn’

After Lori Lightfoot cruised to a landslide victory in the race for mayor, following an often bitter and divisive campaign against Toni Preckwinkle, the mayor-elect and her former rival joined for a show of unity, and pledged to work together to advance a progressive agenda in Chicago and Cook County. When she is sworn in, she will be the first mayor in Chicago who identifies as a lesbian. She's the first black woman and first openly gay person to be elected Chicago's mayor.

Tuesday's contest was bound to be historic, as residents were choosing between two black women, guaranteeing that Chicago would elect its first as mayor.

Ms Preckwinkle has for decades held various local elected offices, which analysts said hurt her in an election in which voters were looking to shake up city hall _ fed up with gun violence that claims more lives than in other major American cities and years of political corruption in the Democratic stronghold.

Finley Campbell, a spokesman for the Chicago-based Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Racial Unity Action Council, said part of what makes Lightfoot's win historic is also that she reached out successfully to white voters.

The new mayor said that she meant to lead in a different direction than outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who famously eschewed federal funding over DACA and declared Chicago to be a "Trump-free zone".

Before that, Lightfoot thanked voters at the Clark-Lake CTA station.

Preckwinkle mentioned Lightfoot's sexuality during one of the mayoral debates.

She and Ms Preckwinkle were the final two left competing in Tuesday's run-off election.

Lightfoot, 56, who had served as an assistant USA attorney before entering private practice, emerged as the surprising leader in the first round of voting in February when 14 candidates were on the ballot.

Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot clinches her fists as she speaks during her election night celebration after defeating her challenger Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff election in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 2, 2019.

NBC Chicago reported that Lightfoot had been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as U.S. Representatives Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Robin Kelly. "You know, too much of a machine", said John Reyes, 71, speaking outside a polling place in the Albany Park neighborhood.

She led the task force that called out the department's history of "racial disparity and discrimination" and recommended an overhaul of the department.

She has promised to increase affordable housing, fight homelessness and crime, and boost oversight of the police department.

But as Van Dyke was about to go on trial for murder in September, Mr Emanuel announced he would not run for re-election.

On day one, she will also have to find a way to ease tension between the police department and state's attorney after prosecutors chose to drop charges against actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a hate crime attack.

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