Far-Left Brandon Johnson Wins Chicago Mayoral Runoff

On Tuesday night, Chicago voters elected a far-left candidate as mayor, narrowly defeating a more moderate Democrat in the runoff election.

The Washington Examiner reports that Brandon Johnson, a Cook County Commissioner and former teacher, defeated former CEO of Chicago Public Schools Paul Vallas by less than three points, a margin of roughly 16,000 votes, with about 91 percent of the overall vote reporting in.

The mayoral election in Chicago took a historic turn in the first round of the open primary on February 28th, when incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D-Ill.) came in a distant third place, thus becoming the first Chicago mayor in exactly 40 years to lose re-election.

Vallas came in a decisive first place in the original primary, with 32.90 percent, while Johnson finished in a distant second at 21.63 percent, to Lightfoot’s 16.81 percent. Vallas was seen as the frontrunner due to his name recognition, having previously run for Mayor in 2019 and also being the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the 2014 election.

The defining issue of the campaign was crime, with Vallas being endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7 due to his campaign pledge to be tough on crime and support the police as mayor. Johnson, meanwhile, was endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers and had previously spoken out against the police; he spent much of the runoff campaign largely walking back his prior support for the “defund the police” movement, while still campaigning as a more progressive candidate than Vallas. Lightfoot’s loss in the primary was largely attributed to voter dissatisfaction with her approach on crime, which has surged in the Windy City under her watch.

Johnson also becomes the fourth black mayor in Chicago’s history, after Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, and Lightfoot. Lightfoot had been only the second woman to ever serve as Mayor of Chicago, after Jane Byrne, who was defeated in the Democratic primary in 1983 by Washington.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)