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Chicago Mayoral Runoff Between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson Set for April 4

Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson will face off in the April 4 mayoral runoff in Chicago after Mayor Lori Lightfoot conceded defeat; Vallas and Johnson represent opposite sides of Chicago's political spectrum, with Vallas pushing a tough-on-crime position and Johnson pushing a more progressive agenda.

Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson
Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson

Vallas and Johnson are set to face each other in Chicago's April 4 mayoral runoff after Mayor Lori Lightfoot conceded defeat. With 98% of precincts reporting, Vallas received 34% votes, followed by Johnson at 20% and Lightfoot at 17%. Under city election rules, if no one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the race goes to a runoff.

Lightfoot Concedes Defeat in Mayoral Election

Lightfoot conceded defeat in a speech on Tuesday night after calling Vallas and Johnson. The mayor expressed gratitude and pride, even though she did not win the election.

Lori Lightfoot
Lori Lightfoot

Vallas and Johnson Represent Opposite Sides of Chicago's Political Spectrum

Vallas and Johnson represent opposing sides of Chicago's political spectrum. Vallas has pushed a tough-on-crime position, while Johnson, backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, has pushed a more progressive agenda. The matchup between the two offers a stark contrast in priorities, styles, and supporters.

Vallas Pushes Law-and-Order Message, and Johnson Portrays Self as Progressive

In his impassioned speech, Vallas praised the mayor for calling him and pushed his law-and-order message while surrounded by friends and family, including four police officers. On the other hand, Johnson portrayed himself as the true progressive in the race and was funded almost entirely by progressive labor groups, including the Chicago Teachers Union. The two candidates offer stark contrasts in their visions for policing, education, and taxes.

The photo was taken during the voting process
The photo was taken during the voting process

Turnout and Vote Counting in the Mayoral Election

Turnout in the mayoral election was sluggish early in the day but picked up by evening, with 507,852 votes cast, about 32% of registered voters. Vote counting could take hours or even days as voters have cast mail-in ballots at record numbers. The Chicago Board of Elections website will report results as they come in.

Lightfoot's Leadership and the 2023 Mayoral Race

Lightfoot's City Council allies touted her commitment to the city's South and West sides, payments on the city's pension debt, and leadership during the pandemic. However, the mayor faced widespread criticism for her frequently combative leadership style, poor service, rising crime in the public transit system, and frequent clashes with the Chicago Teachers Union. The 2023 mayoral race has been dominated by changes that shook the city over the past four years, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in crime that accompanied it, as well as ongoing calls for police reform and racial justice.