Mayor Lori Lightfoot shocked Chicago’s political establishment in 2019 when she defeated Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in a landslide. Lightfoot had announced a longshot run against Rahm Emanuel in May 2018, after the mayor had appointed her to two different policing boards and before Emanuel announced he wouldn’t seek reelection. Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and big law attorney, took office promising to reform city government but has faced criticism for not following through on transparency promises. Much of her tenure has been spent leading the city through COVID-19 and dealing with high crime, which spiked dramatically in 2020. After two years of rising street violence, the city recorded a 14% decrease in homicides but was still worse than 2019, when Lightfoot took office. Lightfoot, for her part, argues that her plan to address violent crime is working but needs time.
Born: Massillon, Ohio
Personal: Married to Amy Eshleman with a teenage daughter
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Michigan; Juris Doctor, University of Chicago
Neighborhood: Logan Square
Current job: Mayor of Chicago
Government experience: Assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (1996-2002); chief administrator, Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards (2002-04); chief of staff and general counsel, Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (2004-05); first deputy procurement officer, Chicago Department of Procurement Services (2005); co-chair, Chicago Police Accountability Task Force (2016); president, Chicago Police Board (2015-18).
Political experience: Mayor of Chicago
Campaign slogan: “Riding with Lori”
Campaign website: lightfootforchicago.com