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Resoundingly rejected by voters, Lori Lightfoot once more suggests she was treated unfairly because of her race and sex, not rejected for her failures

Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

It would appear some of those Chicago residents Mayor Lori Lightfoot attempted to dissuade from voting rejected her advice and in turn rejected her.

TheBlaze previously reported that Lightfoot was overwhelmingly rejected by voters on Tuesday. She placed third and secured only 17.1% of the vote, thereby failing to qualify for the runoff election in April.

Following her concession speech, Lightfoot, the first Chicago mayor in 40 years to lose re-election, told reporters that she had been treated unfairly because she is "a black woman in America." This is the latest in a series of similar claims advanced by Lightfoot suggesting that criticisms of her apparent failures as a leader were motivated by racial and sexual animus.

Rejection observed through racial lens

In June 2021, Lightfoot told WTTW's Chicago Tonight that "99 percent" of the criticism she receives is because she is a black woman, reported WFLD.

"Look at my predecessors. Did people say that Rich Daley held tea sessions with people that he didn't disagree on? Rahm Emanuel was a polite guy who was a uniter? No. Women and people of color are always held to a different standard," said Lightfoot.

When recently speaking to Politico, Lightfoot invoked her immutable characteristics as the reason why she wasn't featured on the cover of Time magazine, entirely discounting the possibility that success in the role of mayor may have been a factor.

She said, "I remember Rahm Emanuel appearing on the cover of Time magazine, the headline was basically like: 'Tough guy for Chicago.' No woman or woman of color is ever going to get that headline."

Ahead of Tuesday's election, Lightfoot reseeded the notion in conversation with the New Yorker that she might be criticized or possibly even rejected at the polls because "I am a black woman — let’s not forget. Certain folks, frankly, don’t support us in leadership roles.”

In her leadership role, Lightfoot oversaw homicides spike reaching their highest numbers in 25 years.

The New York Post indicated that Chicago recorded 695 murders by the end of 2022 and 804 in 2021.

Seventy people have been murdered in Chicago so far this year, where just two months in, crime is already up 61% over last year. Fourteen were wounded by gunfire the weekend leading into the election, reported PBS News Hour.

Under Lightfoot, big businesses and employers such as Tyson Foods, Boeing, Caterpillar, and Citadel have been leaving the city en masse, citing worsening violent crime, homelessness, and drug overdoses.

While crime devoured her city and businesses fled it, Lightfoot was embroiled in numerous scandals.

Most recently, she was denounced over the recent dissemination of emails by her campaign manager to Chicago Public Schools teachers, pressuring them to ask students to help the mayor with her re-election campaign by volunteering 12 hours per week in exchange for class credit.

After her concession speech Tuesday, Lightfoot was asked by a reporter if she was treated unfairly on account of her race and sex, reported the Daily Mail.

Lightfoot, sued in 2021 for granting interviews on the basis of reporters' race, responded, "I'm a black woman in America. Of course."

Failed mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who placed fourth after Lightfoot, suggested that "when she failed, instead of doing what a leader does — taking responsibility and solving problems — she dug in. ... Have you seen the finger-pointing between the mayor and the state’s attorney? The mayor and the courts? The mayor and the governor?"

After the mayor's latest effort to displace accountability, critics contextualized and celebrated Lightfoot's exit.

Content of character found wanting

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman accounted for why, beyond the mayor's immutable characteristics, she might have been so resoundingly rejected by Chicagoans.

Spielman noted that "bad timing," of the pandemic and BLM violence in particular, "is too simple an explanation for Lightfoot's stunning political downfall."

In part, it had to do with a stunning series of betrayals: "Lightfoot opposed the elected school board after saying she’d support it; failed to deliver the transparency she had promised; and broke her pledge to raise the real estate transfer tax on high-end home sales to create a dedicated funding source to reduce homelessness."

Veteran Democrat political strategist suggested that Lightfoot's unfortunate personality was in large part to blame, saying, "Her strengths may have been weaknesses in governing. The uncompromising nature of her personality and the lack of relationships with other people who she has to deal with constructively may wind up being very, very damaging."

Former inspector general Joe Ferguson, former friend of the defeated mayor, said, "Her greater interest was in holding the power in a transactional way ... and not governing as the times called for and that she promised she would.”

Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) provided Spielman with a strong sense of why, besides sex and race, Lightfoot may have been ousted: "She felt she could do and say anything to anybody without any repercussions. Not knowing that you need people in order to be effective. ... 'My way or the highway’ coming out of the gate. Trying to destroy people instead of trying to work with people. Politics is a game of addition. It’s not a game of subtraction. All she did was subtract from Day One."

Regardless of what inspirited the mayor's many critiques, her critics appear happy to see her go.

Just the News founder John Solomon reiterated a sentiment shared on election night by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) that Lighfoot's ousting is a "powerful warning to blue city mayors: crime doesn’t pay in politics."

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted, "Lori Lightfoot lost her election. Perhaps she should have woken up when I referred to her as the 'derelict mayor of Chicago' from the White House podium for ignoring victims of crime in her city! Instead, she said 'Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth.'"

McEnany said on Fox News' "Hannity," "Karen here: You lost."

Stephen L. Miller of the Spectator tweeted, "Perhaps Lori Lightfoot would have won if thousands of her voters had not been shot."

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