Lori Lightfoot Is the First Black Woman and Openly Gay Person to be Mayor in Chicago

Lightfoot won a runoff election Tuesday night, making history for the city in the process.




Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, is now the first black woman and first openly gay person to hold the office of mayor in Chicago.

Lightfoot was called as the winner of a runoff election against fellow Democrat Toni Preckwinkle late Tuesday evening, according to NBC News. Her election also makes the Illinois city the largest in the nation to have an openly LGBTQ+ mayor.

"Thank you, Chicago. From the bottom of my heart, thank you," Lightfoot said in a statement Tuesday. "Today, you did more than make history. You created a movement for change. When we started this journey 11 months ago, nobody gave us much of a chance. We were up against powerful interests, a powerful machine, and a powerful Mayor."

Thank you, Chicago! pic.twitter.com/IimreRoBff

— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) April 3, 2019

In the original vote, which did not see Rahm Emanuel seek re-election, Lightfoot also came in first. The two were at 17.5 and 16.1 percent, resulting in this week's runoff. Preckwinkle formally condeded just before 9:00 p.m., telling supporters she was disappointed "but not disheartened" by the results. "Tonight is about the path forward," she said, per the Chicago Tribune.

On National Coming Out Day back in October, Lightfoot detailed her LGBTQ+ policy framework in a message citing her "identity and experiences" as key in the development of her worldview. Among the policy outline's proposals are focused pushes on visibility in city government, safety for the city's trans community, and more affordable housing for senior citizens.

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Prior to her election as mayor, Lightfoot notably served under Emanuel as head of a police accountability task force started after the police killing of Laquan McDonald. In a CNN interview Wednesday morning, Lightfoot looked ahead on what she aims to do with police reform, calling for better training for officers so they can "bridge that divide better."

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