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Chicago elects Lori Lightfoot as first black, female mayor

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 3, 2019 - Duration: 01:37s

Chicago elects Lori Lightfoot as first black, female mayor

Chicago has chosen Lori Lightfoot as their new mayor, the first time a black woman has been elected.

Lightfoot will also serve as the city's first openly-gay mayor.

Jayson Albano reports.

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Chicago elects Lori Lightfoot as first black, female mayor

Chicago made history Tuesday (April 2) when it elected its first black, female mayor.

Lori Lightfoot will also serve as the city's first mayor to be openly gay.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHICAGO MAYOR-ELECT LORI LIGHTFOOT, SAYING: "You did more than make history.

You created a movement for change." Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and political newcomer, won in a landslide vote during a runoff election.

She received 74% of the vote with nearly all precincts counted.

Lightfoot beat out long-time politician Toni Preckwinkle, who was a city councilwoman for almost two decades.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHICAGO MAYOR-ELECT LORI LIGHTFOOT, SAYING: "We can and we will break this city's endless cycle of corruption and we will never let corrupt politicians profit in office again." A runoff between two African-American women is rare in the United States.

According to the Reflective Democracy Campaign, only 6% of mayors in the 200 largest cities in the U.S. are women of colour.

Both Democrats earned spots on the ballot after receiving the most votes among 14 candidates in a February election.

On Twitter, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker congratulated Lightfoot and tied it back to former President Barack Obama, saying, "In a city that serves as the hometown for many Black American politicians who have made history, there is another political first." Lightfoot will take over a city struggling with violence, crime and weak finances.

She will be expected to deliver on a campaign promise to reform the city's police department, after a 2017 Justice Department finding of widespread excessive force and racial bias by officers.

Lightfoot will replace Rahm Emanuel, who did not seek a third term.

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