How Paul Wallace took the lead in the Chicago mayoral race

CHICAGO — When Paul Wallace ran for mayor of Chicago four years ago, things didn’t go well. He finished a distant ninth, winning only 5 percent of the vote and not registering as an electoral backstop.

But on Tuesday, Mr. Trump hammered a tough crime message on the campaign trail. Vallas was the city’s first incumbent to lose again, outperforming eight other candidates in the election that denied Mayor Lori Lightfoot a second term. – Elections since the 1980s.

Mr. Wallace’s strong showing reflects a very different electoral mood in Chicago, where Ms. Murders spiked under Lightfoot’s watch, property crime rates continued to climb, and promises of crackdowns took on new appeal.

Across the country, even in liberal cities, calls for more extensive policing and tougher prosecutions have gained political support. On April 4 Mr. Debates will shape Wallace’s runoff.

That matchup gives voters a choice between two starkly different Democrats: the younger, unabashedly liberal Mr. Johnson, a county commissioner and former union organizer; And the older, more conservative Mr. Vallus, a former public school administrator and vocal supporter of law enforcement. Mr. Vallas has used

“Public safety is a fundamental right of every American: it’s a civil right and it’s a core responsibility of government,” said the 69-year-old Mr. Vallas said in a speech Tuesday night. “We will have a safer Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America.

But among Chicago’s influential political left, Vallas’s mayoral bid faced fear, ridicule and implications that he was actually a Republican rather than a lifelong Democrat.

“We can’t have this guy as mayor of the city of Chicago,” said the 46-year-old Mr. Johnson, whose campaign was derailed by the endorsement of the local teachers union, told supporters Tuesday night. “Our children and families across Chicago can’t afford it.”

Mr. Vallas grew up on the South Side of Chicago and is well-versed in local government. He led Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001 with sweeping changes, an approach that drew a mix of praise and criticism.

But Mr. on crime and policing. It’s Vallas’ hard-hitting message that propelled him to the top of a nine-candidate mayoral race this year. After unsuccessfully running for governor in 2002, lieutenant governor in 2014 and mayor in 2019, Mr. Vallas, this year, Ms. In Lightfoot’s political right, and Mr. He also positioned himself on Johnson’s right.

See also  Walmart closes stores in Chicago, signals protests in urban cities

“I’ve never been scared before,” said Martha Wicker, 61, who was Mr. Voted for Vallas and described worrying about crime during his daily commute. “Now I don’t want to be alone on a train when it’s dark.”

The next mayor will inherit a long-challenged police department that operates under a consent decree without a permanent chief. After losing the re-election Ms. In Lightfoot’s first major announcement, Chicago Police Chief David O. Brown said he would resign at the end of the month.

As of Wednesday evening, with some postal votes yet to be counted, Mr. Mr. Johnson won 19 of the city’s 50 wards, compared to nine wards where Johnson was top. Vallas took the lead.

In 2020, Mr. Mr. Johnson did well on the city’s northern lakefront, winning plurality votes in some majority-white wards, while also winning some majority-Hispanic areas northwest of downtown.

Mr. Chicago has a history of racial and ethnic groups sometimes voting in blocks, with roughly equal numbers of black, white, and Hispanic residents.

In the runoff, Rep. Jesús G. García, a progressive Democrat with a loyal base of Hispanic voters, and Ms. Both candidates will try to win over Chicagoans who supported Lightfoot.

Mr. who previously worked as a government school teacher. Johnson’s supporters say they admire his approach to education and policing. Mr. Johnson at one point said he agreed with the movement to cut funding for police departments, but he later withdrew.

Mr. “I like his comments about funding the police,” said Carla Moulton, 61, a law secretary who voted for Johnson.

A West Side resident and pastor’s son who won election to the county board in 2018 Johnson called on the campaign trail to increase access to mental health services, add funding to schools and build affordable housing. To pay for it, he has called for raising some taxes, including on businesses.

See also  Pope Francis had scar tissue removed and a hernia repaired during a 3-hour abdominal surgery

“The city’s finances belong to the people of the city,” Mr. Johnson said Tuesday night. “So we’re going to invest in the people of the city.”

Progressives Mr. have united against Vallas because of his views on policing, his record of supporting charter schools and, most recently, a Chicago Tribune reports Her Twitter account has enjoyed a series of offensive posts about Ms Lightfoot on Twitter. (Mr Vallas recommended His account was breached.) Mr. Wallace too said In a television interview in 2009, he described himself as more of a Republican than a Democrat, a strike against him in the eyes of many voters in heavily liberal Chicago.

When he made his case to the voters, Mr. Vallas welcomed the local fraternity commission’s endorsement of a plan to replace Chicago police chiefs, improve arrest rates and crack down on misdemeanor crimes. His campaign website described Chicago as a near-dystopia in which “city leadership has surrendered us all to a criminal element that operates with impunity in preying on unsuspecting, innocent people.”

For many voters, alarmed by homicide rates that soared to generational heights during the coronavirus pandemic, the message resonated.

Real estate broker Mike Curran, 50, said it was for public safety reasons that Mr. He said he voted for Vallas.

“I’ve been very disappointed in the last four years,” Mr. Curran said. “I grew up in Detroit and I know what can happen to a city. I voted for Wallace because I’m so tired of crime in the neighborhood.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. He became chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools within a few years of what was described as the nation’s worst district. He presided Philadelphia School System And after the state took over the district, it expanded charter schools. After Hurricane Katrina, he oversaw the rebuilding of the New Orleans school system.

In many cities Mr. Greg Williams, who served as school district administrator under Wallace, described his former boss as an energetic, assertive leader.

See also  Mike Trout has injured his left wrist

“He looks at problems and says, ‘How do I innovate, how do I create?’ How do I make this change, make that change permanent?”’ said Dr. Williams, who has served as superintendent of schools in other districts and supported Mr. Wallace’s campaign.

During his work with the Chicago School District, Mr. Vallas has a good relationship with the Chicago teachers union, which has repeatedly battled the past two Chicago mayors, and has campaigned this year for Mr. helped raise Johnson’s profile.

Deborah Lynch, who was president of the teachers union, and Mr. Wallace’s tenure was briefly matched, and while not agreeing with him on every point, Mr. He said he appreciated Vallas’ approach.

“He was a leader with a lot of energy, a lot of ideas, a lot of projects,” said Ms. Lynch, who now lives in suburban Chicago and Mr. Wallace’s mayor is backing the campaign. “Some of those plans went as planned. Some, you know, lessons learned. He added: “He has a vision, but he backs it up with concrete plans.”

However, his work also brought criticism. Mr Vallas was there Appointed In 2017, Chicago State University’s Board of Trustees was in dire financial straits.

After arriving there, he quickly moved into a senior management role, where he was charged with helping set the course for the university’s future. But it was clear that he plans to run for mayor in 2019. He was expelled. Rev. who was the chairman of the university’s committee at that time. Marshall Hatch Sr., who is Mr. Vallas said he believed “no help” and “no impact.” Protected his work.

“It didn’t make a lot of sense, except the school was in trouble, and the school looked like it was in so much trouble that, hey, let’s throw a fixer like Paul in there,” Mr. Hotch said. “It didn’t last long.”

Julie Boseman, Robert Chiarito And Dan Simmons Contributed report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *