Showdown in Chicago

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readMar 25

Amid concerns about rising crime, Chicagoans will head to the polls on Tuesday. Lori Lightfoot will not be on the ballot.

Due to riots in Chicago, on May 31, bridges over the north branch of the Chicago River were raised to stifle traffic going in or out of the downtown area. May 30, 2020. (photo: Stephen Hogan)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot Loses Reelection Bid, First One-Term Mayor In 40 Years,” wrote Noah Asimow for Block Club Chicago on the evening of February 28, 2023.

Incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot had just failed to garner enough votes to make it to the runoff and the presses were running hot.

“Lightfoot’s historic loss marks the first time since Jane Byrne’s loss to Harold Washington in 1983 that the city has not elected a sitting mayor who ran for reelection,” wondered Asimow.

Before Lightfoot, Jane M. Byrne left the office of Chicago mayor on April 29, 1983, after losing her bid for re-election in the Democratic primary to Harold Washington. Byrne had been the first female mayor of Chicago, serving from 1979 to 1983.

In 1987, Harold Washington, who was Chicago’s first African American mayor, died during his second term in office. In the subsequent special election held in 1989, the incumbent acting mayor, Eugene Sawyer, lost in the Democratic primary to Richard M. Daley, who went on to win the general election and serve as mayor for the next 22 years.

Lori Lightfoot becomes the first Chicago mayor in 40 years to lose re-election,” blared NBC News in unison on February 28, 2023. “The embattled Democrat, who has been dogged by persistent crime in the city, failed to get enough votes to advance to an April runoff election.”

Why Lori Lightfoot Is the First Chicago Mayor to Lose Re-Election in 40 years,” Joe Barrett and Ben Kesling attempted an explanation for the Wall Street Journal on March 1, 2023. “Battles with unions and Chicagoans’ fears about rising crime eroded her support.”

“I think there is a lot of disappointment in the communities that I represent, about having high hopes for her and being very disappointed in her performance,” said Chicago city council member Tom Tunney.

“She was hurt by the impression that she has failed on public safety, which was far and away the most important issue to most voters,” admitted longtime Democratic Party analyst David Axelrod. “But she also was hurt by her style, which more often than not, was a clenched fist rather than an…