A couple of updates. First, Paul Vallas picked up a key endorsement, which may bring over some of Lori Lightfoot's voters:
Newly-retired Jesse White, the first African-American elected as Illinois Secretary of State, is endorsing Paul Vallas, giving Vallas a leg up in his quest to claim the 20% share of the Black vote he needs to win the April 4 mayoral runoff against Brandon Johnson.
White, 88, retired in January after a record six terms as secretary of state. In four of those elections, he was the leading vote-getter statewide. He endorsed City Clerk Anna Valencia as his replacement, but she lost handily to former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
Vallas can only hope White’s endorsement in the mayoral runoff has more weight — and gives other establishment Black elected officials sanction to join him, starting with White’s political protégé, Ald. Walter Burnett (27th).
Block Club Chicago maps out how that might work:
If you’re a local politics geek like us, you’re probably poring over the data to see who won big where, how Chicagoans voted — and what exactly could happen during that runoff.
We pulled together maps and charts to help you understand this latest election...
And Charles Blow sees Lori Lightfoot's decline and fall as typical of other Black mayors, but concedes that her personality probably had a lot to do with it:
[T]wo things can be true simultaneously: There can be legitimate concerns about rising crime, and crime can be used as a political wedge issue, particularly against elected officials of color, which has happened often.
In this moment, when the country has still not come to grips with the wide-ranging societal trauma that the pandemic exacerbated and unleashed, mayors are being held responsible for that crime. If all politics is local, crime and safety are the most local. And when the perception of crime collides with ingrained societal concepts of race and gender, politicians, particularly Black women, can pay the price.
I disagree with Blow; I know crime in Chicago has fallen by more than half since I lived here in the 1990s, and that Lightfoot doesn't have much responsibility for its uptick in the pandemic. I voted for Brandon Johnson because I thought Lightfoot was a bad administrator and didn't know how to get things done without bullying.
We'll see what happens on April 4th.