CHICAGO — Former teacher and union organizer Brandon Johnson has been elected Chicago mayor, according to Associated Press projections.
City Council seats, as well as suburban mayor and village presidents races, continue to be decided.
The Chicago mayoral race pitted former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas, a moderate Democrat endorsed by Chicago’s police union and several trade unions, against progressive Johnson, the Cook County Board Commissioner, who was backed by the Chicago Teachers Union and several public sector unions.
Tuesday’s runoff election is due to no candidate receiving over 50% of the vote on the Feb. 28 election. On that day, Vallas, 69, was the majority frontrunner. Johnson, 46, followed and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot finished third in the polls. The soon-to-be-ousted Lightfoot was the first city mayor in 40 years to seek reelection and lose.
WGN News’ special coverage began at 7 p.m. and included analysis and updates from Chicago’s mayoral runoff race, City Council, suburban races and village elected officials. Follow our full blog of the night below.
WGN Special Election Coverage panel recaps the night as races conclude and others continue to be decided.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson addresses supporters after runoff election victory:
“The first thing I want to say to the Chicagoans who did not vote for me…here’s what I want you to know, I care about you, I value you, I want to hear from you, I want to work for you, and I’ll be the mayor for you too.
“Tonight is the beginning of a Chicago that truly invests in all of his people”
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who endorsed Paul Vallas for mayor, compliments Brandon Johnson on his projected victory:
Congratulations to Brandon Johnson on being elected the next Mayor of Chicago. I want Mayor-elect Johnson to succeed so Illinois can succeed, and stand ready to help make his vision of a ‘stronger Chicago, for all’ a reality.
Paul Vallas ran a strong campaign and I thank him for his tireless work on the campaign trail. And to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, thank you for your dedication to the City of Chicago over the last four years.”
With 99% of polling precincts reporting, nearly 280,000 ballots were cast for Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson (51%) over Paul Vallas (49%).
Illinois Federation of Teachers’ statement on Brandon Johnson being declared the new mayor of Chicago:
It is truly an historic day for Chicago! For the first time, a public school teacher and union organizer has been elected to lead our proud, working class city. Voters recognized that Brandon Johnson was the clear choice, and every Chicagoan will be better off with him at the helm.
Chicago voters chose Brandon’s inspiring vision of unity and hope over his opponent’s vision of division and fear. In Brandon Johnson, Chicago will now have a true leader for all people – an honest man who will work to build a better, stronger, safer, more equitable city for everyone, from the North Side to the South Side and in every city neighborhood.
As mayor, we know that Brandon will focus on what this city and its people need to move forward – fully-resourced public schools for students of every color in every zip code, safer streets, increased mental health services to address the root causes of violence and poverty, affordable housing, and good paying, green jobs.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot congratulates Brandon Johnson on his win over opponent Paul Vallas: “I congratulate Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson on his hard-fought runoff victory this evening.”
Paul Vallas delivers speech conceding to Brandon Johnson in the April 4 mayoral runoff election in Chicago, pledging his full support to him and saying he wouldn’t be fulfilling one of his own campaign promises of unifying Chicago if the results of this election further divided the city.
“I called Brandon Johnson and told him that I absolutely expect him to be the next mayor of Chicago.”
VIDEO: WGN’s Special Coverage Election panel reacts to Brandon Johnson’s victory
Brandon Johnson, a progressive organizer backed by teachers union, wins Chicago mayor’s race over moderate Paul Vallas, according to AP projections. Johnson becomes the 57th mayor of the city.
Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas will speak to supporters just after 9:30 p.m. The race for Chicago mayor remains tight with Johnson holding a slim lead.
Incumbent Timmy Knudsen is declared winner in Chicago’s 43rd Ward race.
WGN’s Shannon Halligan spoke to Knudsen after being declared winner of the 43rd Ward aldermanic race. Watch in the video player below.
VIDEO: 11th Ward aldermanic race projected winner Nicole Lee talks mayor’s race and what led to her victory with WGN’s Mike Lowe
With 95% of precincts reporting, Brandon Johnson maintains a slim lead over opponent Paul Vallas in the closely-contested battle for Chicago mayor.
The latest on where several races for City Council seats stand, just before the 9 p.m. hour.
VIDEO: Angela Clay, declared winner in Chicago’s 46th Ward, talks victory with WGN’s Sean Lewis
As votes continue to be tallied, WGN’s Ben Bradley breakdowns when a winner in the race for Chicago mayor might be declared. Watch in the video player below.
Just shy of 9,000 votes, 45th Ward incumbent Jim Gardner retains his city council seat, defeating Megan Mathias.
Kim Walz concedes in aldermanic race for 46th Ward.
“I want to congratulate Angela Clay for her victory in the race for 46th Ward Alderwoman. While this isn’t the result we hoped for, I am so proud of the campaign we ran. It has been an honor to meet with residents throughout this campaign to share my vision for moving the ward forward without leaving anyone behind.”
Brandon Johnson’s narrow lead remains in the runoff election race for Chicago mayor, with 92% of polling precincts reporting 258,594 votes in favor of Johnson, compared to Paul Vallas’ 251,415 votes.
VIDEO: Nicole Lee, candidate for 11th Ward alderwoman, delivers speech with decisive edge in race
VIDEO: WGN’s Ben Bradley provides the latest updates on aldermanic races in the 5th, 29th, and 36th Wards
VIDEO: Race for Chicago mayor remains tight with both candidates tied
Brandon Johnson pulls ahead, albeit slightly, in the runoff election race for Chicago mayor, taking (50.11%) of the vote, compared to Paul Vallas’ (49.89%).
Nearly 485,000 votes have been counted with 88% of precincts reporting.
VIDEO: Projected to retain his council seat, 45th Ward incumbent Jim Gardner speaks to WGN News’ Julian Crews
The race for the city’s next mayor remains close, with 82% of the Chicago mayoral runoff race results showing Paul Vallas (50%) and Brandon Johnson (50%) tied.
Fifty-six percent of the Chicago mayoral runoff race results show Paul Vallas (52%) as the frontrunner and Brandon Johnson following closely behind with (48%) of ballots cast.
As of 7 p.m., there have been over 530,300 ballots cast in Chicago for a citywide voter turnout percentage of 32.2%. There are 1,597,910 registered voters in Chicago.
Voter turnout by age group:
- 18 -24: 20,989 ballots cast – 3.96%
- 25-34: 87,506 ballots cast – 16.50%
- 35-44: 88,936 ballots cast – 16.77%
- 45-54: 84,796 ballots cast – 15.99%
- 55-64: 97,708 ballots cast – 18.42%
- 65-74: 89,845 ballots cast – 16.94%
- 75+: 60,689 ballots cast – 11.44%
Polls across Chicagoland are now closed.
Thirty minutes until polls close across Chicagoland.
One hour until the polls close across Chicagoland.
As of 5 p.m., there have been over 476,300 ballots cast in Chicago for a citywide voter turnout percentage of 29.1%. There are 1,596,151 registered voters in Chicago.
Voter turnout by age group:
- 18 -24: 17,039 ballots cast – 3.58%
- 25-34: 73,177 ballots cast – 15.36%
- 35-44: 77,665 ballots cast – 16.30%
- 45-54: 74,721 ballots cast – 15.69%
- 55-64: 88,313 ballots cast – 18.54%
- 65-74: 85,242 ballots cast – 17.89%
- 75+: 58,890 ballots cast – 12.36%
The Associated Press contributed to this report.