In a historic election that saw two black women competing to become mayor of the nation’s third-largest city, voters in Chicago Tuesday night chose Lori Lightfoot to become the first black woman and the first openly gay person to lead the city as its mayor.
Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and relative political newcomer, trounced her opponent, Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and chair of the county’s Democratic Party, by a margin of nearly 50 percentage points, the Washington Post reports.
Lightfoot ran on a campaign of reform and said she would focus on bringing investments to the predominantly black South and West sides of the city, reports the Associated Press.
“We can and we will break this city’s endless cycle of corruption,” Lightfoot said during her victory speech, the Post reports. “And never again, never ever, allow politicians to profit from elected positions.”
After a campaign marked with sharp barbs on both sides, Preckwinkle said she called Lightfoot Tuesday night to congratulate her.
“While I may be disappointed I’m not disheartened. For one thing, this is clearly a historic night,” Preckwinkle told a crowd gathered in her South Side neighborhood, the Post reports. “Not long ago two African American women vying for this position would have been unthinkable. And while it may be true that we took two very different paths to get here, tonight is about the path forward.”
Lightfoot will take the oath of office May 20.