Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, is gearing up for a difficult re-election as she seeks to retain her top position in the city against eight other candidates in next month’s election. increase.
Lightfoot, who made history in 2019 as the city’s first openly black female and openly gay mayor, has faced conflicts with local unions, the COVID-19 pandemic and growing concerns about crime in recent years. , has faced many challenges.
Now the mayor is glaring at a move within the party to overthrow her, but observers have suggested that banishing Lightfoot won’t be easy.
“She has two challenges right now. As one Jason DeSanto said,
During Lightfoot’s tenure, he had occasional contentious relationships with city and state officials. She went head-to-head with the president of the Police Fraternity over the COVID-19 vaccine and is grappling with her two Chicago teachers’ union strikes just months after the 2019 election. Text obtained from the Chicago Tribune through a request for her public records. Her messages sometimes indicate frosty relationships with other leaders, such as Governor JB Pritzker (Democrat) and State Senate Speaker Don Harmon (Democrat). bottom.
Chicago has seen some progress on its crime problem, including a decline in homicides and worsening assaults last year, but Chicago police data shows that certain crimes, such as murder and theft, are still below pre-pandemic levels. above level.
At the same time, Lightfoot has tried to remind voters of the city’s performance under her administration since former federal prosecutor and then-political outsider Lightfoot took office in 2019. bottom.
“Mayor Lightfoot has led this city through unprecedented challenges with tough and impartial leadership while embarking on an ambitious agenda to deliver real, tangible results,” said Lightfoot’s campaign spokesperson. “The mayor is improving public safety, removing guns from the streets and hiring more police officers, while increasing police accountability and transparency,” Hannah Goss, a Man, said in a statement. She’s reversing decades of declining investment in Chicago’s South Side and West Side communities to create inclusive economic growth.”
“Unlike her opponents, these are not half-baked ideas or statements of values,” Goss added.
But candidates such as Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (Democrat), former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (Democrat), and state legislator Kam Buckner (Democrat) , casting itself as a viable alternative to the first candidate. Term mayor. Alz. Sophia King and Roderick Sawyer, activist Jamal Greene, and businessman Willie Wilson also threw their hats in the ring.
All of them will appeal to voters at the first televised debate on Thursday ahead of the Feb. 28 election. If no candidate wins more than his 50% share of the vote, the election will advance to the top two vote share run-off on April 4th.
In a statement, Green’s campaign highlighted the activists’ “bold actions, fearlessness, and impassioned feelings of standing up for justice for all,” while Alderman Sawyer said of the 12 Pointing out years of service, the former Chicago mayor in his own statement nodded at his upbringing as a son. Garcia’s campaign spokesman, Antoine Givens, told The Hill in a statement that the congressman was “the only candidate with the ability to unite Chicago.”
Observers say Lightfoot’s first job is to make it into April’s runoff vote, with Ballas and Garcia potentially being the most formidable challengers. Both have previously run for mayor of Chicago. Vallas is committed to crime and Garcia has the support of several unions, including her influential IUOE Local 150.
Garcia’s supporter, veteran political operative Victor Reyes, said, “The way for her is to have the right candidate to run.”
“Her odds improve dramatically if she takes a runoff vote with a specific candidate,” he added.
While Lightfoot rolled out a 30-second ad earlier this month linking Garcia to FTX founder Sam Bankman, Ballas has been “silent” for months about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. has already launched an attack on the pair, accusing them of He denounced and humiliated former State House Speaker Mike Madigan (Democrat).
According to the Tribune, Bankman-Fried contributed $2,900 to García’s campaign, and Bankman-Fried’s associated PAC Protect Our Future independently spent more than $150,000 to boost his campaign. The congressman contributed about $3,000 in direct campaign contributions and said of his PAC money spent outside the campaign, “By law, by definition, I had nothing to do with it.” said.
In a statement, Garcia’s campaign spokesperson Givens condemned Lightfoot’s advertising, saying the mayor “relies on more lies and desperate attacks.”
Observers say Lightfoot opponents also face the challenge of trying to oust incumbents.
“The mayor is there with 99 percent name ID,” said Zach Koetsky, a city lobbyist who has worked with the Democratic Party and the progressive campaign. “It is others who are currently vaguely defined that create opportunities for her and her candidates to introduce themselves and be defined by others.”
After all, race observers have pointed to Lightfoot’s perceived weaknesses, but cautioned against writing her off. Given that Lightfoot was considered an unlikely candidate in the last election.
“Anyone who writes off an incumbent is an idiot. We never write off an incumbent,” said Reyes, a veteran political operative. “And while her approval numbers aren’t up to current standards, there was a lightning bolt in the bottle last time.”