The Associated Press is projecting that Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas won enough votes Tuesday to seal up a spot in the April runoff election for Chicago mayor.
Who Vallas will face on April 4 remained unclear Tuesday night as votes from across the city continued to be counted. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was fighting for a second term but faced strong headwinds after four often-tumultuous years.
Unofficial results showed Vallas with 36% of the vote with 75% of the precincts reporting. Second was Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson at 20%, Lightfoot with just below 16% and U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia at 14% and businessman Willie Wilson with 9%.
Lightfoot was squeezed by opposition from both ends of the political spectrum as the more conservative Vallas pushed a law-and-order theme while progressive candidates such as Johnson and García tried to convince voters that Lightfoot brought incomplete answers to the city’s problems and divisiveness.
Others running against Lightfoot included businessman state Rep. Kambium “Kam” Buckner, Ald. Sophia King, 4th, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, and community activist Ja’Mal Green. They all had less than 5% of the vote.
With nine candidates running, including seven Black candidates, few expected Tuesday’s election would be the final say on the 2023 race for mayor.
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