Chicago mayoral election 2019: Lightfoot, Preckwinkle likely to face off in April runoff

Chicago mayoral election

The April runoff in Chicago’s mayoral election is apparently set. Four hours after the polls closed and with roughly 95 percent of precincts reporting, it seems Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle will face off for the city’s leading office. As of 10:40 p.m., Lightfoot directed Preckwinkle by roughly 7,900 votes. Lightfoot took to the podium about 9:15 p.m., speaking to supporters about breaking Chicago’s so-called political machine.

Chicago mayoral election 2019

“As some of you know I’ve been saying today for the past couple of weeks that this election’s gonna be about if we resign to the status quo or we fix to fight for what’s right,” she said. “This election is about the crumbling machine of yesteryear once and for all and demanding an independent, accountable city hall that serves the people, not the political machine”

Preckwinkle addressed her supporters about an hour later. “I’m not afraid of big challenges or challenging work. I understand what it takes to undertake them. And I understand how gratifying it is when our efforts bend the arc of history a little closer to justice day by day,” she said. “While my opponent was taking multiple appointments in the Daley and Emanuel administrations, I fought the power elites who have been trying to hold this city back for years.”

There were originally 14 candidates vying for the city’s top office Tuesday, the most ever to operate in the city’s history. The mayoral race ended for four candidates – Gery Chico, Susana Mendoza, Amara Enyia and Bill Daley – within about two hours of the polls closing. Chico was the first to concede at about 8:15 p.m.

The Chico camp has been confident Tuesday, feeling the campaign’s ground game can take the afternoon despite low voter turnout. The 62-year-old former mayoral chief of staff and head of the school board, park district and city colleges spent Tuesday making a last-minute push for votes in 11 wards around the city. Chico kept particularly close tabs on returns in the Southwest and Southeast Sides of this city, where he performed well in 2011’s mayoral race, which he dropped to Rahm Emanuel.

Mendoza conceded second, at approximately 8:40 p.m. “I’m proud that we gave it our best shot,” she said. “To everybody who voted for me as well as people who didn’t: Know that I see you, hear you and I’ll never stop fighting for you.”

Having lost the race, Mendoza will go back to her role as the comptroller of the state. Enyia stepped to the podium to concede minutes afterward. Enyia received many endorsements over the duration of her campaign against Chicago-born rappers Kanye West and Chance the Rapper.

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