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Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat from Chicago, was defeated in her re-election bid on Tuesday after her first term was marred by crime historic highs, the failure to recover from the epidemic, and petty feuds with authorities.
Homicide rates climbed to generational highs under Lightfoot, who was elected in 2019, a rise that was most acutely felt in parts of the South and West sides that have long been beset by gun violence. Residents around the city are concerned about an increase in robberies, muggings, carjackings, and other property crimes, which they blame on Lightfoot.
Following a three-year decline in violence, homicides in the city increased in 2020. In that year only, the City saw approximately 770 murders, a 50% increase over 2019. According to the Chicago Tribune, the city reached 800 killings in 2021, breaking a 25-year record.
On previous days, Lightfoot knew that defeat was coming. She granted an interview with Politico‘s Jonathan Martin and although she did acknowledge some mistakes regarding the crime rates, she then went on to say that she was quickly judged because she was a woman of color, citing a TIME magazine article which mentioned her opponent, Rahm Emanuel.
“Of course, you can’t have lived through what we lived through and say I did everything perfect. We made mistakes,” (…) “I remember Rahm Emanuel appearing on the cover of Time magazine, the headline was basically like: ‘Tough guy for Chicago.’ No woman or woman of color is ever going to get that headline,”
Lightfoot appeared to be referring to a 2013 feature on the former mayor penned by Time’s David Von Drehle. The cover of the corresponding issue of the magazine depicted Emanuel behind the words “Chicago Bull.”
Former school CEO Paul Vallas earned the most votes (35% with over 90% of the ballots in) and progressed to the runoff election. Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson received 20% of the vote. Lightfoot only garnered 16% of the vote.
The Associated Press declared the contest for Vallas and Johnson. Vallas has attempted to present himself as harsher on crime and more moderate than Lightfoot, but Johnson is unapologetically far-left.
According to NBC News, Lightfoot is the first incumbent elected Chicago mayor to lose re-election in 40 years.
Independent Writer. Marketing and communications strategist for politicians, artists, public figures & corporate brands for more than 10 years. Contact: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)
Escritor independiente. Consultor en marketing y comunicaciones de políticos, artistas, figuras públicas y marcas por más de 10 años. Contacto: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)