CHICAGO (CBS) — Four weeks from Tuesday, Chicago voters go to the polls to select between two black women as the next mayor.
A new, independent poll shows Lori Lightfoot with a commanding early lead. CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley sat down with Lightfoot as the race gets revved up.
“What I’m focused on is winning votes, winning people’s confidence. That I have the right vision, the right experience to lift this city up and forward,” Lightfoot said.
The woman who seemingly came from nowhere to win the crowded mayoral first round, is heading toward the runoff with momentum. A new, independent poll for a children’s advocacy group shows Lightfoot at 58 percent, Toni Preckwinkle at 30 percent with just 12 percent undecided.
Are you going to start running now as a front-runner as opposed to an underdog?
“No. We’re the underdog, no question about it. When you’re running against someone who’s spent almost their entire adult life as an elected official, who is the manifestation of the machine, you can never take anything for granted,” she said.
Lightfoot said the federal shakedown investigations into Ald. Ed Burke (14th) and Ald. Danny Solis (25th) fueled a fire that ignited her campaign.
“I think it was significant in really focusing people on feeling like enough is enough. I believe we have to change aldermanic prerogative,” Lightfoot said. “I don’t think as a taxpayer and a resident of the city, you should have to go kiss the ring of an alderman to get basic city service that, by the way, you’ve already paid for.”
And Preckwinkle has already launched attack ads, portraying Lightfoot is a wealthy attorney who has represented big money.
“I am an African American woman who has been successful and it’s amazing to me that somebody like Toni Preckwinkle, of all people, would try to turn that into a negative,” Lightfoot said. “I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish and I know it’s because I know I stand on the foundation that my parents laid for me. And I’m never going to be embarrassed by that. Never.”
In response to the poll, the Preckwinkle team said Toni is embracing her underdog role and they added that she will come out on top April 2.