News ID: 240876
Published: 0548 GMT April 03, 2019

African American woman elected Chicago mayor in historic vote

African American woman elected Chicago mayor in historic vote

In a historic first, an African American woman was elected mayor of America's third largest city Tuesday, as Chicago voters entrusted a political novice with tackling difficult problems of economic inequality and gun violence.

Lori Lightfoot, a 56-year-old former federal prosecutor and practicing lawyer who has never before held elected office, was elected the midwestern city's mayor in a lopsided victory.

She beat out Toni Preckwinkle, who is also an African American woman, by a wide margin of 74 to 26 percent in early voting results with most ballots counted, Press TV reported.

Lightfoot will become Chicago's first African American woman to hold the post. Since 1837, Chicago voters have elected only one black mayor and one female mayor.

"People (are) hoping for something different to come along. To be the vessel for that is overwhelming," Lightfoot told reporters earlier after the polls opened.

Voters had left little doubt they want the next mayor to tackle major issues vexing the city of 2.7 million people, especially economic disparities and gun violence that claims more lives than in other major American cities.

More than 550 people were killed in Chicago last year due to gang violence often fueled by the drug trade – most in economically-struggling and majority African American neighborhoods.

 

   
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