Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot out as election goes to runoff between other candidates

Lori Lightfoot, Chicago's first gay black woman mayor, is the first incumbent to lose a re-election bid in 40 years.

Paul Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago schools, will face Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union. Ideologically, the choice between Vallas and Johnson is stark. Vallas ran as a moderate law-and-order candidate, while Johnson ran on an unabashedly progressive agenda.

I never seemed to hear a good thing about her in office from anyone: progressive, liberal, left, conservative, none of them. All the interesting things that someone can do mean nothing in the face of what they can't.

Note that the news media's presentation of Vallas as a moderate is not credible: he is a standard-issue conservative law-and-order candidate who runs as a Dem because it's Chicago. I know it's "difficult" to clearly and impartially report that particular political configuration, but it's not so difficult that you just completely ignore things like his social media profile.

"Just don't push that democratic agenda that the citizens of Chicago are tired of," one June 2022 post said. "You know defund this, reform that, color this, female that, We just want someone to do the job."

Back in April 2022, the Vallas account liked a tweet insinuating Chicago police Superintendent David Brown was a diversity hire and calling the mayor a racist.

"He was hired for one reason and one reason only. He was black," the tweet said. "Other candidates were more qualified, but they weren't black. Lightfoot is a racist, big news flash."

After Chicago police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan announced he would be leaving the department, the Vallas account liked a February 2023 tweet that says Deenihan "sees the writing on the wall, as a white male his ascension on CPD is limited. Identity over competency."

While The Chicago Tribune's coverage of this was good, broadcast news barely reports it beyond phrases like "controversial tweets", while citing the least objectionable examples, and leading with his campaign's excuses ("we were hacked" or "a volunteer did it") instead of the substance of their own story. They are so anxious about reporting it that they make their own coverage as vague and boring as possible.