In a historic race, Democrat Lori Lightfoot has been elected mayor of Chicago, Illinois.
With 98.7 percent of the precincts reporting, Lightfoot had 73.7 percent of the vote to longtime politician Toni Preckwinkle’s 26.3 percent.
The achievement makes the 56-year-old former federal prosecutor the first openly LGBTQ person – and the first Black female – to serve as mayor of Chicago.
Lightfoot will be the only current Black lesbian mayor in the United States.
With her wife and daughter standing nearby during her acceptance speech, Lightfoot told supporters that her victory proves that Chicago is “a city where it doesn’t matter what color you are” and “it doesn’t matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart.”
Chicago is now the largest city ever to elect a queer person to mayor. That distinction was previously held by former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who served from 2010-2016.
Parker, who current serves as executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, praised Lightfoot in a statement.
“A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics,” said Parker. “Chicago’s enormous influence on the national dialogue provides a platform for Lori to promote more inclusive solutions to the challenges facing our cities and nation – and to be a credible messenger as well.”
“Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing Chicago,” Parker added. “But as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of an American city – a title she takes from me – she is also now a key leader in the movement to build LGBTQ political power nationwide.”
Lightfoot, who had served as president of the Chicago Police Board, has never held elective office.
She campaigned on ridding the city of government corruption as well as helping lower/middle income families she believes have been left behind or ignored
Lightfoot will succeed Mayor Rahm Emanuel on May 20.
But wait – there’s more!
With 62 percent of the vote, Satya Rhodes Conway bested longtime Mayor Paul Soglin becoming the first openly gay (and second female) Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin.
And in Kansas City, Missouri, city councilwoman Jolie Justus was the top vote-getter among 11 candidates in that mayoral race earning her a one of two spots in the June 18 general election. Justus, who is openly lesbian, is a former two-term state senator. She garnered 23 percent of the vote while second place went to Councilman Quinton Lucas, who earned 18 percent.