Vallas, Johnson advance to Chicago mayoral election runoff


Daily file illustration by Jacob Fulton

Paul Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, and Cook County commissioner Brandon Johnson will advance to a runoff election.

Casey He, Assistant City Editor

Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson will face off in the April 4 runoff election for mayor of Chicago following the first round of voting Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

No candidate won more than 50% of the vote Tuesday. Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, emerged as the frontrunner with 34% of the vote.

Incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was first elected four years ago, lost her bid for reelection with only 17% of the vote. 

In a news release Tuesday night, Vallas, who positions himself to the right of both Johnson and Lightfoot, said he would make public safety a top priority.

“The City of Chicago needs a leader who will bring our city together,” he said in the release. “Someone who shares our residents’ values as a lifelong, pro-choice Democrat. Someone who is prepared with the comprehensive plans that we need to restore public safety in our communities, turn around our schools and stabilize our finances.”

Johnson, a Cook County commissioner and former CPS teacher, came in second with 20% of the vote.

In a speech to his supporters following the election, Johnson called for investment in affordable housing, the public school system and mental health services for all Chicago residents. 

“We are going to finally retire this tale of two cities and usher in a better, stronger, safer, united city,” Johnson said.

Lightfoot became the first Chicago mayor to lose reelection in 40 years. 

In her concession speech, she said she is proud that under her administration, Chicago made record investments in affordable housing, education and public safety.

“I will be rooting and praying for our next mayor to deliver for the people of the city for years to come,” Lightfoot said. “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to be mayor.”

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