Lightfoot Loses in Chicago; Front-Runner Vallas Vows to Keep Schools Open Nights, Weekends, Holidays

( – There will be no second term for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who finished third with 17 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, where crime was a major issue.

Former Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas, with 34 percent of the vote, now faces a runoff with Cook County Commissioner and community activist Brandon Johnson (20 percent).

In her concession speech, Lightfoot took credit for removing “a record number of guns off our streets, reducing homicides, and starting to “make real progress on public safety.”

But the numbers tell a different story:

In 2019, the year Lightfoot was sworn in as mayor, Chicago recorded 500 homicides. In 2020, that number jumped to 776, followed by 802 in 2021 and 688 in 2022.


So far in 2023, the city has recorded 84 murders, according to the Chicago Sun-Times database.

‘We will make Chicago the safest city in America’

In his speech, frontrunner Paul Vallas thanked the people of Chicago for making the campaign about the issues — “and nothing but the issues.”

He said he’s running for mayor to bring the city the leadership it needs:

“Public safety is the fundamental right of every American,” Vallas said on Tuesday night. “It is a civil right. And it is the principle responsibility of government. And we will have a safe Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America,” he vowed.

He called for “true community policing” and said he would give police the resources they need, but would have “zero tolerance” for officers who violate the law. He vowed to establish “true community policing.”

“Look, public safety is the overriding issue,” Vallas said. “But we will not have true public safety in this city until the schools become part of the public safety solution.”

Vallas called for educational quality and opportunities for all of Chicago’s residents, regardless of their incomes or zip codes.

“And that means — that means — that our schools need to be returned to the community; the money needs to follow the kids back into the community, and our schools need to be open through the evening, through the weekends, through the holidays, through the summer.

“And we need to bring the community into the schools — the faith-based organizations into the schools, the park districts into the schools, so we have programs and support for our children and we can keep them in safe and secure environments.”

Love and investment

Brandon Johnson, the progressive candidate, called for a “better, stronger, safer Chicago.” He spoke in general terms about affordable housing, mental health centers across the city, trains that run on time, jobs and “loving” and “investing” the people of Chicago.

Johnson also used the occasion of his speech to attack his runoff opponent.

“Let me tell you about Paul Vallas,” he said, as his supporters booed.

“Paul Vallas is someone who is supported by the January 6 insurrectionists. He switched parties when Barrack Obama became the president of the United States. He went as far as to say he is more of a Republican than anything else…”  And so on.

Vallas is white and Johnson is black. The runoff election will take place in April.


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