Lori Lightfoot is out as mayor of Chicago.
In Tuesday’s primary vote, Paul Vallas, a former schools CEO endorsed by the Chicago police union, garnered the most votes while Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union, finished second.
With 89% of the votes counted, Mr. Vallas received 35.0% of the vote and Mr. Johnson 20.3%. Ms. Lightfoot finished third at 16.4% while U.S. Rep. Jesus Garcia came in fourth in the nine-person primary with 13.8%.
Since nobody got a majority, Mr. Vallas and Mr. Johnson will advance to a runoff April 4.
Ms. Lightfoot conceded defeat in a speech to supporters Tuesday night, saying she had made congratulatory calls to Mr. Vallas and Mr. Johnson.
“Regardless of tonight’s outcome, we fought the right fights and we put this city on a better path,” she said.
The race is officially nonpartisan, but all the top candidates are nominal Democrats and range from liberal to radical. Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since “Big Bill” Thompson was an ally of Al Capone.
Ms. Lightfoot took office four years ago on a wave of hype as the first Black female and first gay person to lead Chicago.
But her tenure was rocked by rising crime and collapsed morale in the city’s police department. Her leadership style also was widely panned as needlessly confrontational.
Mr. Vallas, an adviser to the Fraternal Order of Police during its negotiations with Ms. Lightfoot’s administration, used the crime issue against her on the way to his first-place finish, calling for hundreds of new police officers.
At his victory party, Mr. Vallas led with that issue, saying that if he is elected in April “we will have a safe Chicago. We will make Chicago the safest city in America.”
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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