It’s another voting season in Chicago and for the first time in history, two black female contestants, Lori Lightfoot, and Toni Preckwinkle are on their way to the April 2nd runoff where the winner will be elected the next mayor of Chicago. This will be the first time a black female official will be elected mayor in the city’s 181-year history.
The race for mayor has been undertaken by 14 candidates with Lightfoot and Preckwinkle leading the pack at 17.5 percent and 16 percent of the votes respectively. Close behind them was former US Commerce Secretary Bill Daley who had 14.8% of votes but conceded late Tuesday, congratulating Lightfoot and Preckwinkle. Others to concede include former Chicago school board president Gery Chico and Illinois Comptroller, Susana Mendoza.
Most of the candidates entered the race following the announcement in September by current Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel saying that he would not be running for reelection. Emmanuel has been under criticism for the Teachers union 7-day strike back in 2012 following his closing of 50 public schools in Chicago in his first term, affecting majorly black and Latino families. He also suffered a blow to his image back in 2015 following a court-ordered release of a video showing the shooting of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald by a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke.
The new mayor will be inheriting a list of issues as Chicago recorded 561 homicides last year, a staggering number considering the fact that other parts of the nation recorded low homicide rates. Real estate price has also skyrocketed, reducing the population of Chicago as middle-class citizens can no longer afford to be homeowners. Political corruption was thrown into the mix last month as Federal authorities announced charges of attempted extortion again Alderman Ed Burke. Some of the running candidates formerly associated with the Alderman now scramble to distance themselves from the allegations.
According to voter’s, the major issue of Chicago is financial stability and housing. Whoever wins the elections will have these situations to battle.