Home » Vallas in runoff for Chicago mayor; opponent not yet decided

Vallas in runoff for Chicago mayor; opponent not yet decided

by The Grio

Paul Vallas, the former schools CEO endorsed by the Chicago police union, advanced to a two-candidate runoff for Chicago mayor on Tuesday. His rival in a bid to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot had not yet been decided.

Lightfoot, the first Black woman and first openly gay person to lead the city, was still vying to make the April 4 runoff for a second term. Among her top opponents were Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union, and U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Vallas served as an adviser to the Fraternal Order of Police during its negotiations with Lightfoot’s administration. He has called for adding hundreds of police officers to patrol the city, saying crime is out of control and morale among officers has sunk to a new low during Lightfoot’s tenure.

Lightfoot has criticized Vallas as too conservative for Chicago and for welcoming support from the police union’s controversial leader, who defended the Jan. 6 insurrectionists at the Capitol and equated Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate for city workers to the Holocaust.

Lightfoot in 2019 became the first Black woman and first openly gay mayor of the third-largest U.S. city, and only the second woman to hold the office. But Lightfoot, a former prosecutor and head of a city police review board, now faces serious challenges from multiple candidates, who have hammered her over crime that spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic and a leadership style they say is unnecessarily combative.

Lightfoot has touted her record of investing in neighborhoods and supporting workers, such as by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She also notes that the city has navigated unprecedented challenges such as the pandemic and its economic and public safety fallout to protests over policing.

“The world is very different than it was four years ago. I believe that I’m still the right person and I think the…

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