Chicago is set for a historic mayoral election, and people across the country will be able to follow live results as the city goes to the polls.
Voters in the Windy City will select a replacement for Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday, and whoever wins will be a history-making mayor as the city is prepared to elect its first black woman. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is going against former Chicago police board president Lori Lightfoot, who is also a lawyer in Chicago. Both advanced to Tuesday’s runoff election after finishing atop an initial vote in February that had more than a dozen candidates.
Either one would be the first black woman to hold the highest office in the nation’s third-largest city, and Lightfoot would be the first openly gay mayor elected in Chicago, also making it the largest city to elect an openly gay candidate.
To many political experts and Chicago pundits, it seems fitting that the Windy City will lead the way as the largest city in the United States to elect a black woman as its mayor.
“It is tremendous,” Josie Brown Childs, a Chicago civic leader, told the New York Times. “But Chicago has been on the forefront of certain black politics, whether it was with Harold or Obama. We’ve been in the lead on those things.”
Emanuel chose not to seek a third term in office, but likely would have faced a difficult primary as he took blame for many of the city’s problems with its police force and persistent violence.
Nearly 36 years ago, this was the Chicago Tribune front page as Harold Washington won election as Chicago’s first black mayor (lead byline @davidaxelrod). Tonight, a new chapter will be written when Chicago elects its first African-American woman as mayor. #ChiMayor19 pic.twitter.com/kspm6B18Mt— Bill Ruthhart (@BillRuthhart) April 2, 2019
There are a number of pressing issues for the new mayor to address, including a lingering distrust of the city’s police force after the killing of Laquan McDonald, an unarmed black teenager. The city is also facing high crime and violence and a need for investments in several of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Polls in the Chicago mayoral election will close at 7 p.m. local time, and late in the afternoon poll watchers had reported that turnout was low. Less than 25 percent of registered voters had hit the polls, making it difficult to predict which woman would win election to the city’s top post.
There will be a few different avenues for those looking to follow live vote totals from the Chicago mayoral election. A handful of local news outlets are keeping a tally of live results, including WBEZ and the Chicago Sun Times. Live updates and coverage of the election can also be found in the embedded video above.