In a historic development, the biggest US city Chicago has elected a black woman as its mayor, as voters put their faith in an openly-gay political novice to tackle difficult problems of economic inequality and gun violence.
Lori Lightfoot, a 56-year-old former federal prosecutor and practicing lawyer who has never before held elected office, won the Midwestern city’s mayoral race in a lopsided victory. She beat out Toni Preckwinkle, a career politician who is also black, by a wide margin of 74 to 26 percent with most ballots counted.
“We were up against powerful interests,” Lightfoot said in a victory speech, with her wife and young daughter by her side. “Today, you did more than make history, you created a movement for change,” she added.
Lightfoot will become Chicago’s first openly gay mayor as well as the first African America woman to hold the post. Since 1837, Chicago voters have elected only one black mayor and one female mayor. Her ascendancy to the top of Chicago government was a stunning development in a city where insider deals and entrenched party politics held sway for decades.