Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot came into office with much fanfare. She was the first black woman to lead the city and the first openly gay person to do so as well. In a progressive city like Chicago that matters a great deal.
However, it only goes so far.
Like any city, Chicago has problems. It had them when Lightfoot took office and it was up to her to address them. Being a black lesbian doesn’t go very far when residents are concerned about being robbed when they go and check their mail.
It seems Chicagoans are unimpressed with the job she’s done. So much so that while the election isn’t quite done, Lightfoot most definitely is.
Lori Lightfoot is out as mayor of Chicago.
In Tuesday’s primary vote, Paul Vallas, a former schools CEO endorsed by the Chicago police union, garnered the most votes while Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union, finished second.
With 89% of the votes counted, Mr. Vallas received 35.0% of the vote and Mr. Johnson 20.3%. Ms. Lightfoot finished third at 16.4% while U.S. Rep. Jesus Garcia came in fourth in the nine-person primary with 13.8%.
Since nobody got a majority, Mr. Vallas and Mr. Johnson will advance to a runoff April 4.
It’s pretty clear that the reason Lightfoot is out is that crime is such a problem, and it’s one that she repeatedly failed to address.
One of her favorite tactics to avoid addressing the problem was to blame Indiana for it. The state immediately to the south of Illinois, for those who don’t remember their geography, has fewer restrictions on gun purchases than you’ll find around Chicago. This has been blamed for Chicago’s problems with violent crime.
However, what she hasn’t been able to account for is how Indiana doesn’t have the same violent crime problem despite those laws.
At the end of the day, even if someone else’s actions are contributing to your issues, you still have to address them, and Lightfoot failed to do so to the satisfaction of the city’s voters.
Yet no one should think that either of the remaining candidates are going to be our kind of guy. Sure, there’s some law-and-order push going on right now, but both the leading candidates, who will now campaign in a runoff election, are fairly progressive in their politics.
It’s unlikely we’ll see any real, meaningful changes in Chicago except for supporting law enforcement. In fairness, that’s likely to do a fair bit of good, but there’s zero hope for seeing Chicago begin to rally in favor of people’s gun rights.
No, they’ll still love them some gun control and will likely continue to blame guns for any and all issues with violent crime, essentially arguing it’s far better to see people stabbed to death than shot.
Regardless, though, Lightfoot is out and we’re about to see a whole new regime take the helm in the city. While they won’t be pro-gun folks, at least with a law and order approach that seems popular with Chicago voters these days, we may start to see some improvements in the city.