CHICAGO (CBS) — Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, two African American women on the ballot for Chicago mayor, is a match-up never seen before. One will become the city’s first black female mayor.
A win could come down to a former candidate, instead of an issue.
It was day one on the campaign trail all over again as the top two candidates again hit the ground running Wednesday. The next five-week run to the historic runoff will likely be grueling.
Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) has been in the city’s political trenches for 25 years. She says she didn’t think it would ever come down to a race like this in Chicago.
“I knew there would always be an African American vying for the position, no matter what; but to find two great women that we have to choose from? No, I didn’t think I would ever see that,” Austin said.
Austin said her political career required tenacity.
In a man’s world, tenacity is a trait Austin believes both candidates possess, but political analyst Delmarie Cobb says that isn’t enough to get the votes that went to other candidates in the inner wards, in particular to Dr. Willie Wilson.
“They both have to target the black community; and, you know, aside from the lakefront,” she said. “Willie Wilson winning all the black wards. So of course, I’m sure, everybody’s calling him, would like to have him endorse them, so that his votes go to them.”
Both Cobb and Austin believe it will also take grit and specific details about their platforms and plans of action.
“I think it’s going to be an intense race,” Cobb said.
“In my opinion both of them will have to market to the needs of those that they didn’t get,” Austin said.
Then there’s the Harold Washington factor. Cobb points out that the popular former mayor was chosen by the black community for the black community. Outsiders didn’t choose him. In other words, she says many black voters will want to feel that same sort of connection to these candidates this time around when casting their ballots.