Progressive Democrat Brandon Johnson, 47, has become the next mayor of Chicago, beating moderate Democrat Paul Vallas.
The tense race, which, according to some reports, pitted Black voters against the city’s white voters, ended on April 4 when Johnson won by 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent.
Chicago’s population is 45.3 percent white, and Black residents constitute 32 percent.
Johnson, a Cook County Board commissioner, was also victorious over the big-spending Vallas, whose campaign spent about $8 million more than Johnson’s. Vallas is a former schools chief.
Vallas took in more than $19 million in campaign contributions, according to campaign records. Nearly $10 million of that was donated by just 44 individuals or organizations that made six-figure donations. Additionally, 15 of his donors gave him more than $250,000 apiece.
Johnson has raised more than $11 million, with more than 90 percent of coming from unions, including the Chicago Teachers Union, where he has worked as an organizer, NBC Chicago reported.
“The truth is the people have always worked for Chicago,” Johnson said during his victory speech. “Whether you wake up early to open the doors of your businesses or wear a badge to protect our streets or nurse patients in need or provide childcare services, you have always worked for this city and now Chicago will begin to work for its people. All the people.”
Johnson pulled in support from the teachers’ union and other public-sector unions. Vallas was backed by police and firefighters unions and the business community, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson celebrates with supporters after defeating Paul Vallas after the mayoral runoff election late April 4, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)