Chicago Elects Lori Lightfoot As First Female Black Mayor

The US city of Chicago has made history by electing an African-American woman as its mayor for the first time.

Lori Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor who has not held political office before.

She fought off competition from 13 other candidates and dominated the final run-off election with more than 74% when the vote was called.

Ms Lightfoot is also the city’s first gay
mayor and celebrated on-stage with her wife and daughter.

“Out there tonight a lot of little girls and boys are watching. They’re watching us. And they’re seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different,” she told a crowd celebrating her victory on Wednesday night.

The 56-year-old was viewed as an outsider to the race, and campaigned on a platform to end political corruption and help lower-income families.

Gun crime and policing were also high on the agenda in a city plagued by high levels of gang violence and murder.

Chicago is the country’s third largest city – with a population of 2.7 million

Ms Lightfoot previously led the city’s police accountability task force. The body was set up after the death of a 17-year-old named Laquan McDonald at the hands of a police officer in 2014 and subsequent alleged cover-up.

She also headed the Chicago Police Board, a civilian oversight body that disciplines police officers.

Her final victory came on Wednesday in a run-off vote against Toni Preckwinkle – another African-American woman.

She will take over office from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who previously served as chief of staff under former President Barack Obama.

Ms Lightfoot joins a growing rank of record breakers being elected to high-profile mayoral office across the country.

Twelve other US cities including Atlanta, New Orleans and San Francisco are now also led by black women.

This list includes San Francisco’s London Breed, the city’s first female
mayor since Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein in 1988, as well as Rochester’s Lovely Warren and Washington DC’s Muriel Bowser.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is also among black females leading US cities.

She has taken an “indefinite leave of absence” to recover from an ongoing bout of pneumonia, but it comes amid an investigation into the sales of her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s book series.

Ms Pugh reportedly received $500,000 (£380,180) from the University of Maryland Medical System while she was serving on its board, according to the Baltimore Sun.

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