Chicago, IL

Chicago Mayoral Race Heading to a Close Runoff in April

Jennifer Geer

Most likely, the winner won't be chosen until April. None of the nine Chicago mayoral candidates seem likely to get 50% of the vote.
Chicago City HallPhoto byeugenef/

(CHICAGO) In an election year where the top issue is crime and public safety, this vote is likely to be a close one.

To become mayor of Chicago, a candidate must secure 50% of the votes to win. If none of the nine candidates running on Tuesday can get 50% of the vote, the top two will head to a runoff election on April 4th.

Although election day is Tuesday, February 27th, we may not know who the top two contenders are that night or even the next day. If the results are close and it comes down to mail-in ballots, those can still be counted as long as they are postmarked by February 28 and received by March 14.

What to know about the top four front runners

According to the polls, only four of the nine candidates have a chance to be in the top two. These are:

  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
  • Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas
  • U.S. Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García
  • Organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, Brandon Johnson

Lori Lightfoot

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is seeking a second term as she fights for a spot in the runoff election. Lightfoot is the first openly gay person and only the second woman to serve as mayor of Chicago. She's had a tough four years as Chicago has grappled with Covid, crime, and an 11-day strike by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Paul Vallas

Recent polls have shown Paul Vallas in the lead. Vallas has campaigned on the promise of law and order, has the backing of conservatives, and has received an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune's editorial board and Chicago's fraternal order of police.

Jesús "Chuy" García

The Democratic congressman, Jesús "Chuy" García is the only Hispanic candidate and if he wins, would be the city's first Latino mayor. García has called for adding more police and removing Police Superintendent David Brown (who was appointed by Lightfoot.)

Brandon Johnson

As an organizer for the Chicago Teacher's Union, Brandon Johnson has seen recent positive momentum. Political strategist, David Axelrod has predicted the runoff election could come down to Johnson and Vallas. Johnson has the support from the Chicago Teachers Union, Rogers Park Ald. Maria Hadden and her political group Network 49, and the art community.

Get out and vote

With this close of an election, every vote counts.

Find out all the details and answers to your questions at Chicago's Board of Election website.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL

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