Voters in Chicago set a precedent have set with the election of Lori Lightfoot as both the city’s first openly gay and Black female mayor.
Lightfoot, who won the historic race Tuesday against Toni Preckwinkle, another African-American woman, replaces Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was not seeking a third term.
Lightfoot, a former assistant U.S. attorney, was appointed by Emanuel to head Chicago’s newly-created police accountability task force. When she launched her campaign in May, Lightfoot stood as a long-shot bid to bring about inclusive change, including toppling of the head of the Cook County Democratic Party. Overall, her win dealt a stinging overthrow of a political establishment that has ruled Chicago’s political landscape for decades.
Now, in her new role, she now faces the responsibility of tackling the city’s ongoing struggles with gun violence, crime and police-community relations.
“Today, you did more than make history,” Lightfoot told hundreds of supporters Tuesday night at the Hilton Chicago. “You created a movement for change.”