Brandon Johnson Secures Win in Chicago Mayor Race

Brandon Johnson Takes Chicago Mayor Race in Win for Progressives

( – Chicago voters headed to the ballots on February 28 to cast their ballots for the city’s next mayor. In the end, they ousted the controversial Lori Lightfoot (D), who had lost a lot of support over her inability to tackle the city’s high crime levels. The top two contenders for the role, Democrats Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas, went into a runoff election, which took place on Tuesday, April 4. Johnson emerged victorious.

Lori Lightfoot Controversy

The poll results were clear evidence that many Chicagoans were tired of Lightfoot’s policies. Crime skyrocketed during her tenure, and the battle that took place between her and the Chicago Teachers’ Union near the beginning of her time in office left voters divided.

Lightfoot also drew ire from police. A majorly notable shift in her popularity came when the police force literally turned its back on her after an officer was killed in the line of duty.

During the February 28 election, Lightfoot managed to gain only 16.8% of the vote, coming in third to Vallas (32.9%) and Johnson (21.6%). This was a notable drop from her having previously won all 50 of the state’s wards in 2019. She was also the first Chicago mayor in 40 years to lose her re-election bid.

The Election

Because neither candidate secured 50% of the vote back in February, they were forced into a runoff this month. It was a close race. Johnson beat out Vallas by a mere 2.8% after trailing him in the general election. In the end, he won the majority of the wards, 29 out of 50.

According to The New York Times, Johnson’s campaign apparently took advantage of Vallas’ previous statements that he was “more of a Republican than a Democrat” to sway voters to his side.

Johnson’s Proposed Policies

During his campaign, Johnson distanced himself from his prior stance on defunding the police, saying he had no intentions of reducing the Chicago Police Department’s budget. He did, however, state a desire to allocate more resources to mental health.

One notable, perhaps controversial, aspect of his plan will involve increasing taxes by $800 million. This increase won’t affect most regular taxpayers, with businesses and wealthy individuals instead picking up the tab. The plan will also freeze property taxes. Vallas spoke out against the proposals, but it wasn’t enough to garner him the necessary votes to win.

Johnson will be sworn in as the new Chicago mayor on May 15.

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