For the first time since 1983, a sitting Chicago mayor failed to win re-election*, sadly keeping the total proportion of women not being re-elected at 100%. So the April 4th runoff will see the Chicago Public Schools candidate face off against the Chicago Teachers Union candidate:
Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson are headed to an April 4 runoff for mayor of Chicago after Mayor Lori Lightfoot conceded defeat Tuesday night, sealing her fate as a one-term mayor.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Vallas secured 34 percent of the vote, followed by Johnson with 20 percent and Lightfoot with 17 percent. Under city election rules, if no one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the race will go to a runoff.
Although opponents attacked Vallas as a conservative during the campaign, he affirmed his support for abortion rights during his speech, and pledged to be a mayor for “all Chicago.”
“I am a lifelong Democrat,” Vallas said.
(Sure, for a very forgiving value of "Democrat.")
Johnson, a Cook County commissioner representing the county’s 1st District on the West Side, thanked the unions that buoyed his campaign in his speech, including the powerful, progressive Chicago Teachers Union. He said he would work to level out Chicago’s historic inequities, and spoke in personal terms about his background and his progressive vision for the city.
“I know what it’s like to have a long orange extension cord from our window to our neighbor’s window,” Johnson said. “We are finally going to retire this tale of two cities, and usher in a much better, stronger, safer Chicago.”
The race marks the third consecutive mayoral runoff, after [US Representative Chuy García faced off against incumbent Rahm Emanuel in 2015 and Lightfoot defeated Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in 2019. The city switched to non-partisan elections in 1999, allowing for runoffs if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote.
My guess is that Vallas' 34% represents almost all of the support he's going to get, so I believe (and hope) Johnson will win. As one of my readers pointed out, both CPS and CTU are awful, but I have a strong enough bias in favor of teachers and against school district administration that I'd rather have the CTU guy than the CPS guy. Oh, and Vallas got an endorsement from our unhinged police union, so there's that.
* Michael Bilandic (1979) and Eugene Sawyer (1993) both lost their first elections, not re-election.