CHICAGO (AP) – Lori Lightfoot made history as the first Black woman and the first openly gay woman to serve as Chicago Mayor, sailing to victory four years ago , an outsider vowing to clear City Hall of corruption and create a more secure, safer and fair city.
However, her run for another term is uncertain due to worries about the high rate of crime rates in the third largest city and claims that she’s aggressive and often blatantly aggressive — criticism she has dismissed as sexist as well as racist smears on a powerful leader who is enthusiastic about Chicago.
With a busy February. with 28 vote, Lightfoot has been forced to take a stand in a fierce race which has become an issue of personality and an issue of policy.
“We are beginning to transform Chicago around to make it best,” Lightfoot said during the recent debate. “I would like to complete the task we’ve begun.”
With nine candidates competing there is a good chance that any candidate will reach the threshold of 50% needed for winning the official nonpartisan election in the end. This means that the winner will likely be determined in an April 4 runoff among the top two voters.
If she were to lose, Lightfoot would be the first Chicago mayor in a long time to seek reelection only to be unsuccessful. In contrast to her predecessors, Lightfoot isn’t able to gain a advantage in fundraising over her most popular competitors.
This election will be an early test of the impact that crime plays into mayoral races in major-city Democratic strongholds. Cities that elect mayors this year, such as Philadelphia and Atlanta are also struggling with the issue of how to reconcile progressive values with citizens’ daily concerns about the safety of their families.
Lightfoot was an ex-prosecutor of the federal level who was never previously a candidate for office in a political capacity, emerged from a competitive field in the year 2019 to beat more well-known candidates, supported by voters who were tired of cover-ups and corruption in the political system.
The president says that the administration has made improvements on key issues, from investing funds into areas that have suffered for decades from destruction to removing illegal guns from the streets. However, she says the past four years haven’t come easy and included a pandemic that spread across the globe and protests over police brutality that she claimed represented “some of the most difficult moments we’ve faced” within Chicago.
Her handling of crisis situations has received praise, for instance, her decision to order lockdowns in the early days during the coronavirus outbreak and an image featuring the tough-faced mayor went viral. However, at other times, her actions have been scrutinized.
Following the shooting of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, demonstrations and civil unrest which included the smashing of storefronts as well as fires. Lightfoot directed the city’s police to construct drawbridges on the Chicago River in an attempt to keep protesters out of the downtown zone. Many residents of the city saw the move as elitist and to protect upscale areas of the largely divided city, at the expense of areas with struggling business districts which also suffered significant damage.