In a historic first, Chicago voters on Tuesday elected a gay African American woman as its mayor. When she takes office, Lori Lightfoot will become Chicago’s first openly gay mayor and the first African American woman to hold the post. Since 1837, Chicago voters have elected only one black mayor and one female mayor.
Lori Lightfoot, a 56-year-old former federal prosecutor and practicing lawyer had a runoff against Toni Preckwinkle, who is also an African American woman. Lightfoot who has never before held elected office, won by a wide margin of 74 to 26 per cent in early voting results with most ballots counted, reported news agency AFP.
“Now that it’s over I know that we will work together for the city that we both love,” Lightfoot said at her campaign celebration, reported CNN. “Today you did more than making history, you created a movement for change,” she added.
Toni Preckwinkle who lost to Lightfoot congratulated her on her victory. “This may not be the outcome we wanted but while I may be disappointed, I’m not disheartened,” Preckwinkle told supporters, CNN report added.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not in the race, as he was not seeking a third term.
Lightfoot will now have to deal with Chicago’s two most important issues – economic inequality and gun violence – the major issues troubling voters. More than 550 people were killed in Chicago last year due to gang violence often fueled by the drug trade — most in economically-struggling and majority African American neighbourhoods.
With inputs from AFP