Lori Lightfoot could become Chicago’s first mayor in 40 years to lose reelection as voters head to the polls Tuesday amid rising crime rates in the city.
The Democratic mayor is trailing two other candidates in the polls and could be excluded from a likely April 4 runoff election to continue serving the country’s third-largest city.
Lightfoot, the first black woman and openly gay mayor of Chicago, has recently come under fire for campaigning and dancing in the streets last month amid a 61 percent spike in violent crime.
There are eight other people vying to take the incumbent mayor’s place as the next mayor of Chicago.
A new poll from Victory Research Released this week, Lightfoot trails former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas by 8.1 percent and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson by 1.5 percent.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot could be the first sitting president in 40 years to lose reelection as voters head to the polls Tuesday morning
Lightfoot is behind two candidates, meaning she may not meet the threshold of going to a two-candidate runoff in April, according to a new Victory Research poll.
Voters will cast their votes on Tuesday for who they want as the next mayor of the country’s third-largest city. Pictured: A voter fills out her electronic ballot while others wait in the last hour of early voting on Monday, February 27, 2023
The Vallas and Johnsons’ history of working with schools in the city plays into their favor in the race after Lightfoot went to war with teachers about returning to full-time face-to-face teaching.
“We know that personal learning in school is the safest place for children. “We need to get the teachers union to get real and get serious about getting personal learning back up,” she said in a January 2022 interview.
If none of the various candidates receive a majority of the vote on Tuesday, which seems increasingly likely, the two candidates with the most votes will go to a second round in April.
Critics have widely praised Lightfoot’s soft-on-crime approach, which has led to a massive increase in violence in the city.
There was a 59 percent increase in homicide across the city if you just compared the 9th week of 2023 to the same period four years ago, right when Lightfoot was headed for a runoff with Toni Preckwinkle.
The four-year change also shows a 27 percent increase in theft, 31 percent in theft, and a massive 270 percent increase in motor vehicle thefts.
Last month, Lightfoot was seen on video dancing to a drumline at Chicago’s Lunar New Year parade amid rising crime as the city’s so-called Magnificent Mile shopping district has become nearly a third empty.
Major brands such as Macy’s, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap, Uniqlo, and Timberland have all fled major properties in the area since the COVID closures and subsequent riots.
A new poll from Victory Research released this week shows Lightfoot trailing former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas (left) by 8.1 percent and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (right) by 1.5 percent.
Lightfoot made history as the first black woman and openly gay person to become mayor of Chicago. However, she has come under huge fire for her soft-on-crime approach and her war with teachers in the city. She was assaulted for dancing through the streets with a drum line during a parade last month in the same places where violent crime is up 61 percent
Many were driven away by rising crime and violence, with vacancy rates on the once-bustling high street rising tenfold since 2016, when it was just 3.6 percent, to its current vacancy rate of 30.1 percent.
“We made mistakes,” Lightfoot told Politico when asked if she regretted her first term, but insisted she learned from mistakes.
Lightfoot also insists she is judged more harshly as a black woman.
“I remember (former Chicago mayor) Rahn Emanuel appearing on the cover of Time magazine, the headline was really like, ‘Tough guy for Chicago,'” Lightfoot recalled.
“No woman or woman of color will ever make it to that headline,” she lamented.
Ligthfoot has just 18.7 percent support against her eight rivals in the latest poll conducted just days before the election.
Elected as a reformist outsider who would rid the city of pay-to-play politics, Lightfoot drew criticism when a campaign worker emailed public school teachers seeking students to volunteer for the campaign in exchange for college credit.
Lightfoot apologized and called it a mistake.
However, inspectors general are now investigating possible policy violations between her public office and her campaign.
Some of Lightfoot’s biggest battles were with the Chicago Teachers Union, which supported her opponent in Lightfoot’s first run for mayor. The two sides clashed during an 11-day teachers’ strike in 2019 and bickered about returning to school education during the pandemic.
This year, the teachers’ union supported Lightfoot rival Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner and former Chicago teacher and union organizer.