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Chicago elects its first black woman and openly gay mayor


'Today, you did more than make history. You created a movement for change'

Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images

Chicago has elected its first black woman and openly gay mayor in Lori Lightfoot, a former assistant U.S. attorney who won by a landslide against Toni Preckwinkle in Tuesday's historic runoff election.

"Today, you did more than make history," Lightfoot told a crowd of supporters Tuesday night, NBC News reported. "You created a movement for change."

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Lightfoot commanded 73.7 percent of the vote, according to the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. Preckwinkle, 72, who is also a black woman, held 26.3 percent.

"Together, we can and will finally put the interest of our people — all of our people — ahead of the interests of a powerful few," Lightfoot said Tuesday night, CBS News reported. "Together, we can and will make Chicago a place where your zip code doesn't determine your destiny."

The 56-year-old mayor-elect succeeds Mayor Rahm Emmanuel who has served the city since 2011. He announced last fall that he would not seek a third term.

In February, Lightfoot came in first against a pool of 14 mayoral candidates with 17.5 percent of the vote. Preckwinkle, who served for nearly two decades on the Chicago City Council placed second with 16 percent of the vote.

During her campaign, she promised to end the corruption at City Hall where political scandals and insider deals have left low-income and working-class people ignored by the city's political ruling class, according to Fox News.

"We can and we will break this city's cycle of corruption," she said late Tuesday. "We will not let politicians profit from their positions. We can and we will remake Chicago."

Lightfoot earned a reputation as a police reformer when served as president of the Chicago Police Board and as chair of the Police Accountability Task Force, CBS News reported.

She led the task force that called out the department's history of "racial disparity and discrimination" and recommended an overhaul of the department.

As mayor, Lightfoot will be responsible for making sure the department meets the terms of the U.S. Justice Department's consent decree that took effect earlier this year.

The consent decree requires the department to produce monthly reports on its use of force incidents, it bans officers from using a Taser on suspects who are running away, stronger police accountability and discipline, and stronger community policing, among others.

What was the reaction from LGBT activists?

Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, told CBS News that the organization was "thrilled" by Lightfoot's win. Equality Illinois is a civil rights organization for gay and lesbian people.

"This victory is historic, and it is also an undeniably proud moment for the LGBTQ community," Johnson said.

What else?

Lightfoot's swearing-in is scheduled for May 20. She will become the second woman mayor in city's history.

She and her wife have one daughter.

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