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For the First Time in History, Chicago Will Have a Black Woman as Mayor

For the First Time in History, Chicago Will Have a Black Woman as Mayor


Photo: Ben Winck

On Tuesday, February 26th, in a mayoral race with 14 candidates, two Black women emerged as the front runners — Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle. Meaning that for the first time ever, a Black woman will lead Chicago, the nation's third largest city.  

Lightfoot, a former Chicago Police Board president and assistant United States Attorney, said she's running for the city's top position to make city hall work for the people. 

"I'm running for mayor to build a Chicago City government that represents and defends every person, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation," she explained. 

Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President and a former longtime alderman, said her motivation for entering the race was her grandchildren. 

Photo: Ashlee Rezin

"When it comes down to it, I'm doing this for my grandkids," Preckwinkle said. "I want to make sure they have access to a great education, and real opportunities afterward, and they’re safe and happy; that they’re thinking about their futures and not worried about the present. 

After they both advanced to the runoff election, Lightfoot sent out a congratulatory tweet to Preckwinkle, writing: "No matter which one of us wins, Chicago will make history on April 2nd by electing the first Black woman mayor. It's long overdue."