A field sporting 14 mayoral candidates has been reduced to two with Lori Lightfoot (17.5 percent of the vote) and Toni Preckwinkle (16 percent) advancing to an April runoff – the second in the city’s history — after voters went to the polls Tuesday.
When the smoke clears this spring, Chicago will elect its first African-American female mayor with either Lightfoot, a former prosecutor and a first-time candidate or Preckwinkle, the current Cook County Board president and a former, longtime alderman taking the reins.
The winner will also become the city’s second female mayor, following Jane Byrne, who served one term from 1979 to 1983. And if Lightfoot is elected, she will become the city’s first openly-gay mayor. Both would become the second African American elected Chicago mayor after Harold Washington, who served from 1983 until his death in 1987.