Chicago elects 1st black female and 1st openly gay mayor

Chicago elects 1st black female and 1st openly gay mayor

Chicago elects 1st black female and 1st openly gay mayor

Chicago elected Lori Lightfoot as its first black female mayor in a historic victory applauded beyond the nation's third-most populous city.

Lori Lightfoot swept to victory Tuesday night, becoming the first African American woman and openly gay person elected as the city's mayor.

She beat out Toni Preckwinkle, a career politician who is also black, by a wide margin of 74 to 26 percent with most ballots counted.

Her opponent - Toni Preckwinkle - has served on Chicago's City Council for nearly 20-years, and is now the chairwoman of the county's Democrat Party.

In a landmark vote, the United States city of Chicago has elected its first black female mayor and the first openly gay person to hold the post. "All across our country, more and more black women are showing what they can do in positions of leadership", said London Breed, the first African-American woman elected mayor of San Francisco.

"They're seeing a city where it doesn't matter what colour you are, where it sure doesn't matter how tall you are, and where it doesn't matter who you love", Lightfoot said.

"We can and we will break this city's cycle of corruption", she said late Tuesday.

Lightfoot will replace outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel - once a rising star in the Democratic Party and former president Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff. She also served as President of the Chicago Police Board from 2015 to 2018, where she worked to decide disciplinary matters involving all allegations of police misconduct.

"You created a movement for change", she said.

"While I may be disappointed I'm not disheartened. For one thing, this is clearly a historic night", she told a crowd gathered in her South Side neighborhood. "And while it may be true that we took two very different paths to get here, tonight is about the path forward".

In the 20th Ward, Jeanette Tayor, who was also endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, easily won her runoff.

She led the task force that called out the department's history of "racial disparity and discrimination" and recommended an overhaul of the department.

Most recently, Lightfoot served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown LLP before announcing her candidacy for mayor in May 2018.

"My momma always said birds of a feather flock together, " Ross said. "But we had faith - an abiding faith in this city, its people and in its future".

But Lightfoot's plan to stamp out "hate" might seem a bit underwhelming in a city where one of the main problems is the existence of a "summer violence season". Preckwinkle, a former teacher backed by the unions and the Chicago political establishment, got caught up in the bribery scandal that ensnared long-time Alderman Ed Burke and couldn't get rid of the stench.

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