After the Associated Press predicted Brandon Johnson would become Chicago’s next mayor, Paul Vallas addressed his supporters. According to Vallas, it is a crucial time for the city to come together.
In a divisive campaign centred on public safety, Cook County Board Commissioner Brandon Johnson defeated former schools chief Paul Vallas in an upset to become mayor of the country’s third-largest city.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared the winner. Mr. Johnson had a lead of approximately 16,000 votes, with 51.4% to 48.6%.
The city of Chicago will start making “real investments in all of its residents” starting tonight, Mr. Johnson declared. We have opened a new era in the story of our city with our ballots and our voices.
Mr. Vallas stated in his concession address that he had contacted Mr. Johnson to congratulate him and to appeal for unity.
According to exit polls conducted by the Associated Press, Brandon Johnson, a former educator and union activist, has been elected mayor of Chicago.
There are still campaigns for seats on the city council and for mayor and village president in the suburbs.
Paul Vallas, the former chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, was a moderate Democrat backed by the Chicago Police Union and other trade unions. His opponent, Cook County Board Commissioner and fellow Democrat Lori Johnson, was endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union and other public sector unions.
Who Is Brandon Johnson?
Brandon Johnson, an unashamed leftist, was elected by a razor-thin margin in Chicago, putting him in charge of the city despite its many problems.
The 47-year-old has positioned himself as a would-be mayor with left-wing values by calling for a stronger reckoning with the impact of situations like unemployment and gun violence on families and pupils.
On his campaign website, he talks about his work celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day and his past work providing legal representation to immigrants facing deportation.
Johnson, a lifelong community organiser who was elected Cook County Commissioner for the 1st District in 2018, has served in this role for quite some time.
He was instrumental in the passage of the Fair Housing Ordinance in Cook County, which prohibits landlords from rejecting applicants because of their criminal records.
Johnson joined the strike of Chicago Public School teachers and their union in 2019 to demand higher pay, additional social workers, and other improvements while framing their action as a call for racial equality.
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Paul Vallas On The Election
Vallas, 69, is a more centrist Democrat who has previously served Chicagoans as the city’s budget director under Mayor Richard M. Daley.
The candidate has positioned himself as “tough on crime” by promising to implement “proactive policing,” which would add about 1,100 police officers to the city’s force. This is Vallas’ second run for mayor; he first ran in 2019.
He also called for the elimination of the city’s foot pursuit policy, which states that police cannot pursue a suspect on foot unless the need to hold the person justifies the risks involved in doing so. (That regulation was enacted last year following a police chase that resulted in the deaths of two people, one of them was a thirteen-year-old boy in 2021).
At a press conference on Monday, Vallas said, “Crime is going up and crime will be my number one concern as mayor because public safety is a fundamental human right.” The stress of constant worry is too much for any family to bear.
Mr. Vallas had previously led in opinion polls and finished first in the February primary. Mr. Johnson had finished in second place, preventing Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had finished in third place, from advancing to the runoff.
In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May 2020, both candidates in the runoff election presented radically divergent plans for restoring public safety in the city. Ms. Lightfoot’s bid for re-election has been hampered by rising crime rates despite a reduction in the murder rate over the past year.
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Mr. Johnson, who received backing from other public-sector unions, proposes adding or promoting 200 detectives and concentrating on fixing the underlying problems that contribute to crime.
Mr. Vallas, who received support from police and firefighter organisations and the business sector, promised to hire 1,000 new police officers to increase the number of policemen patrolling the streets.
On Tuesday, at a school in Lincoln Park, 38-year-old technology project manager Christopher Sanders cast his ballot for Mr. Johnson. We don’t need more police, he said. We have everything we need, including a fully funded budget. I think we just need to teach them better as opposed to bringing in an entirely new force of cops as though that would fix the issue.
In the primary election held in February, Vallas received 32.9% of the vote, making him the clear frontrunner and ensuring his spot in Tuesday’s runoff. In February, Johnson received 21.6% of the vote, effectively eliminating Lightfoot from the contest.
After finishing behind Johnson and Vallas in February’s elections, Lightfoot became the first Chicago mayor in 40 years to lose re-election. She was the first openly gay person to hold the post of mayor and the first Black woman to do so.