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Chicago rejects Daley, two black women at the head of the mayoral race

TTuesday marked the end of Daley's hegemony over Chicago politics, at least for the moment.

Of a group of 13 other candidates, the largest in Chicago's last 181 years, voters rejected William "Bill" Daley's candidacy. Daley has been chief of staff to former President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2012, but is best known in the city for his last name.

The Daley family has a long legacy in Chicago's democratic politics. His father, Richard J. Daley, was mayor from 1955 to 1976 and his brother, Richard M. Daley, now 76, was Chicago's oldest mayor, serving from 1989 to 2011.

Instead of sticking to a name that drove the city for a total of 43 years, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, two black women, turned out to be the biggest winners of votes on Tuesday, though they were not the best. no candidate has crossed the 50% threshold to win the victory.

Lightfoot received 17.5% and Preckwinkle 16%. Daley was third with 14.8%.

Lightfoot, 56, is a former federal prosecutor and chair of the Chicago Police Board. If she were elected on April 2, she would also be the first openly gay Mayor of Chicago. Lightfoot has resorted to a platform of rejection of the "machine" policy, focused on improving the poorest neighborhoods in the city. She has never held an elected position.

Preckwinkle, 71, has been involved in Chicago politics for years and is the first black woman to lead the Cook County Democrats. It is supported by the labor movement and endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Once it was clear that the two women would head for a second round, Daley conceded the elections, noting that "tonight's results were not what we were hoping for".

Lightfoot highlighted the historic character of the election Tuesday night to a group of supporters.

"So what do you think of us now?" She said. "… Here, my friends, what is change like?"

Lightfoot congratulated Preckwinkle for voting for the second round. She said that "Chicago will do the story" when it goes to the polls to decide between two black women. "It's long overdue."

Preckwinkle also highlighted the significant nature of the election when she voted Tuesday. "It's a historic moment for the city," she said. "I am proud of the work of my campaign."

Rahm Emanuel, the current mayor, has announced that he will not be standing again in September.

Voters will choose between Lightfoot and Preckwinkle on April 2nd.

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