At a time where America’s major cities are collapsing under the weight of Democratic incompetence and run away violent crime, 83% of those who bothered to cast a ballot voted against the reelection of Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Lightfoot was heralded as a historic candidate and mayor, being the first black female and openly gay person to lead the Windy City.
Yet at the end of the first round of balloting, Lightfoot was thrown out of office by a historic landslide- failing to decisively win over the city’s significant black vote.
Not even the media’s obsession with identity politics could save Lightfoot from either reasonable voters who put a premium on quality of life issues or a wild-eyed Left hitting the gas on political Marxism.
Heavy-handed management of COVID that veered into privileged hypocrisy, tolerance for a culture of rage and protest that swept across the city, and the distinction of becoming one of the nation’s murder capitals combined with her declining relationships with Chicago’s insatiable unions and unstable progressives demanding even more unworkable and unrealistic social policies rendered Lightfoot’s hopes of reelection improbable and in the end resulted in a humiliating showing on election night.
Finishing third in the primary, Lightfoot will watch two men vying to succeed her battle in what’s expected to be an ugly five week runoff.
Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools who did a tour as head of New Orleans’ education system post-Katrina, ran first with almost 35%.
Vallas is seeking a return of Daley-esque city management with an emphasis on law and order, including filling all vacant positions in the depleted Chicago Police Department.
Union organizer Brandon Johnson and Cook Country Commissioner ran a distant second 20%.
And while conservatives might celebrate the political demise of Lightfoot, the national mascot of awful mayors, they should hold off on that football spike as the embattled mayor labeled Johnson a “political radical”. And on that count, Lightfoot is stunningly accurate.
Though a high crime rate is synonymous with Chicago, Johnson has in the past embraced the social suicide mantra of defunding police though he has since played coy on the subject, a posture that ought to be a disqualifier in saner precincts.
The two main electoral challenges facing the people of Chicago are as follows:
First can enough voters overcome the political despair that led to many voters sitting out the election?
Voters must be inspired to believe that they can indeed vote their way out of the abyss.
Secondly will enough voters make their decision on mayor based upon improving public safety instead of race or whether Vallas is fanatical enough on abortion?
You’d think murder, which is a city issue, would matter more than abortion, a national issue that city politicians can do little about beyond participating in protests and delivering fiery speeches, but fervent adherence to the tenets of the political religion of the Left has become an essential qualification for mere consideration for all offices in deep blue constituencies.
Though he ran first, Vallas will find crossing the 50% plus one threshold a tough climb necessitating winning over voters who may not inclined to break his way due to factors unrelated to his ability to do the job.
In contrast Johnson is free to brazenly play the race card as it won’t bother his white progressive and teachers’ union base in the slightest. After all many of the educators who propelled him into the second round preach such social division to students in their classrooms every day.
Older black voters and Hispanics tired of living in fear and chaos will ultimately decide the outcome along with those who vote with their asses by sitting out the runoff.
And just when you’d think a city where “wilding” by juvenile delinquents on Michigan Avenue has become normal things have hit rock bottom it’s a wonder how things could possibly get worse.
Yet, they can.
Much worse for even Lightfoot took to calling out Johnson on his reckless unworkable radical progressive positions, including raising taxes to a level that will chase businesses out of Chicago.
The voters of Chicago, like the denizens of all big cities, will get the government they deserve by either commission or indifference.
Yes the people are angry.
But are they serious?
The runoff for Chicago Mayor will demonstrate what the voters value more, a safer city or fashionable progressive politics.
City leaders across the country, including New Orleans where another “historic” mayor stands on the precipice of a recall over similar failings as Lightfoot, will be watching what happens in Chicago to get a glimpse of what could be their future and whether America’s urban landscape has finally reached peak progressivism.