Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will ask voters to return her to City Hall for a second term as head of the nation’s third-largest city, her campaign told donors and supporters ahead of a fundraiser on Tuesday night.
The mayor is expected to announce her reelection campaign to supporters in River North on Tuesday, ahead of a scheduled series of events in the city on Wednesday. Lightfoot’s announcement that she will seek reelection in the 2023 mayoral race will come as no surprise. Despite some Lightfoot reviewers’ wish that she would step out of the race, the first-term mayor has long been defending her record and seeking reelection.
Invitations by Lightfoot staffers to donors and supporters obtained by the Tribune have made it clear that Tuesday’s event in River North is her campaign launch.
The mayor currently faces five challengers, all of whom have raised questions about high crime and criticized her leadership as unnecessarily divisive. So far, her opponents are South Side Ald. Roderick Sawyer, son of a former mayor; former CEO of the Chicago Public School, Paul Vallas; Illinois State Rep. Comb Buckner; Southwest side of Ald. Raymond Lopez; and businessman Willie Wilson.
For more than three years in office, Lightfoot has faced spikes in crime, failed to run as transparent governance as promised and has been in constant battle with unions representing teachers and police – all the while struggling to maintain good relations. to forge with politicians or leaders in the city. business.
Her polls have struggled in recent months, especially with white and Latino voters, but the tough and combative mayor cannot be fired.
Lightfoot has quietly built a strong relationship with several key union leaders, praising her forward-thinking track record on union issues such as the fair work week ordinance and a $15 minimum wage. Incumbency in any form also has power. As mayor, Lightfoot has earmarked approximately $3 billion in federal funds for city projects, and she has launched a series of programs to reverse one of the biggest criticisms of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure: divestment in Chicago’s neighborhoods, especially in the Chicago area. south and west side.
Lightfoot can also argue that she deserves more time to get the job done after dealing with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and some of the biggest civil unrest in the city since the 1960s.
Whoever becomes mayor of Chicago in 2023 will take responsibility for a city facing major financial challenges, endemic gun violence, and a disturbing history of segregation that persists and contributes to crime and inequality.
The next mayor will also see major changes in Chicago Public Schools, which will transition into an independently elected school board in the coming years. Lightfoot campaigned for an elected school board but unsuccessfully tried to block a state law that created a 21-member body to oversee Chicago schools.