CHICAGO (CBS) — In Chicago’s runoff election, the city will elect its first African American woman as mayor, while 15 aldermanic seats and the city treasurer’s office are also up for grabs today.
No matter who wins the race for mayor, the victor will make history. Either Lori Lightfoot or Toni Preckwinkle will become Chicago’s first black woman mayor. Lightfoot also would be the first openly homosexual mayor in Chicago.
Both candidates were out and about Tuesday morning, still working to get last-minute votes.
“As Daniel Burnham said, make no small plans,” Lightfoot said. “I want to make sure we completely transform every aspect of government. That’s what people want, if they’re voting for me, that’s what they’re buying into.”
Lightfoot said she wants to end the so-called “aldermanic perogative”–the agreement giving aldermen iron-clad control over zoning and building permits in their ward. She also wants to
implement mayoral term limits and bring transparency to TIF funds, moving them from the loop into low-income neighborhoods. She also says she would keep Police Supt. Eddie Johnson while she manages full compliance with the recent federal consent decree for the department.
Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor who has never held public office, greeted potential voters at the Logan Square station on the CTA Blue Line, while Preckwinkle made a stop at the 95th Street station on the Red line.
“I’m very grateful. Its’ been a really, really, really good campaign; and I’m grateful to all the good people who have been supportive,” Preckwinkle said. “We’re going to visit train stops, and restaurants, and meet people where they are, and encourage everybody to get out and vote tonight.”
At her Kenwood polling plane, Preckwinkle said she was optimistic. “I’ve had a great several weeks here,” she said.
Polls have shown her trailing Lightfoot since the campaign for the runoff election began.
It’s been an uphill fight, made more difficult by her ill-fated soda tax. and ties to Alderman Ed Burke, who’s facing federal corruption charges.
She has touted her progressive bonafides, despite her establishment resume: Cook County board president, Democratic party boss and former alderman.
On the issues: she wants a casino in Chicago, legalized marijuana, a real estate transfer tax,
an elected school board and and a new violence prevention office to coordinate city, county and federal efforts to fight crime.
Both women were encouraging voters to head to the polls.
“Don’t stay home. Regardless of how you vote, it’s critically important that people go to the polls,” Lightfoot said.
A Crain’s Chicago poll last week showed 29 percent of voters remained undecided in the mayor’s race, leaving a lot of Chicagoans with open minds in the race.
Unlike during early voting, on Tuesday you can only vote at the polling place assigned to your specific address.
If you aren’t registered to vote, you can still register today and then cast your ballot. You’ll need two forms of ID, including one with your current address.
Polls will stay open until 7 p.m.