Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a first-term Democratic mayor known for her fierce political stance and public spats with conservatives, is facing a tough re-election run.
With nine candidates running for the position, three of whom pose significant challenges to her, Lightfoot is facing a real possibility of not even making it to the runoff election.
Lightfoot Struggling to Break Into the Top Candidates
Despite being considered the favorite to win, recent polls show her struggling to break into the top two candidates.
Her unfavorability ratings have skyrocketed as Chicago residents become increasingly frustrated with the city’s ongoing firearm violence problem.
As the election approaches, Lightfoot is directing her campaign towards another candidate experiencing a surge in the polls, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.
The February 28 election presents a significant challenge for Lightfoot. If no candidate secures a majority, the top two candidates will face each other in the second round of voting in April.
With a few days left before the February 28th election, Lightfoot faces the credible threat of being kicked out from the reelection bid during the first round.
Lightfoot’s challenges have led some of her competitors, including Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, to express doubt about her prospects. Recent polling suggests that Lightfoot is in a statistical dead heat with her opponents.
These opponents are former CEO Paul Vallas of Chicago Public Schools, who has garnered the support of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, and Jesús “Chuy” Garcia.
Full clip of a tense exchange between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in what may be the last major mayoral forum before the primary.
Garcia: “I live on the west side mayor… I live in K-town maybe you don’t come there from Logan Square.” pic.twitter.com/YxknX3Nhds
— Michael Leone (@MichaelFromIL) February 16, 2023
Despite the odds stacked against her, Lightfoot remains optimistic about her chances, acknowledging that a runoff is inevitable, given the size of the field.
The possibility of being blocked from re-election contention in the initial match of voting is shocking. However, Lightfoot remains confident, saying, “I love people thinking of me as the underdog.”
She added that she has always been an underdog her entire life and has always proven people wrong. Thus, it is okay for her to be thought of as someone on that level.
Chicago Resident’s Grows More Frustrated with Violence in the City
Lightfoot’s unfavorable ratings have risen as the public grows more frustrated with firearm violence in the city. This puts her in a tough position, as she faces the possibility of not making it to the runoff election.
NEW: Over in Chicago, Lori Lightfoot could be the first mayor to lose an election there in 34 years. She's one of the few big city mayors to face voters after governing during the pandemic. Her struggles could be a warning for other big city Democrats. https://t.co/noc6WJhcPU
— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) February 21, 2023
With just two weeks left before the election, Lightfoot faces a formidable challenge from three credible opponents, all of whom are closely competing for the top two spots.
In an attempt to secure her position, Lightfoot directed her campaign towards Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who is backed by the powerful Chicago Teachers Union, which has a history of being in conflict with Lightfoot.
However, her efforts may be in vain as the polls indicate Lightfoot’s re-election is far from certain.