CHICAGO — WGN-TV’s “Your Local Election Headquarters: Chicago Mayoral Forum” has concluded.
The hour and a half forum was moderated by WGN News anchors Lourdes Duarte and Tahman Bradley from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. live from Steinmetz College Prep.
The entire event was aired without pause or commercial break on WGN-TV and within this story.
The current slate of candidates includes:
- Kam Buckner, member of the Illinois House of Representatives, 26th District
- Jesús “Chuy” García, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 4th District
- Ja’Mal Green, community activist and President of My Turn to Own
- Brandon Johnson, Cook County Board Commissioner, 1st District
- Sophia King, Alderman of Chicago’s 4th Ward
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot
- Roderick Sawyer, Alderman of Chicago’s 6th Ward
- Paul Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools
- Willie Wilson, businessman and philanthropist
A brief synopsis of the forum
View the entire hour and a half event at the bottom of this story
7:03 p.m. The first question for each candidate focuses on the city’s financial stability and how they may protect the city from a potential recession.
7:12 p.m. The candidates have been asked if any will commit to not raising any taxes. Buckner, García, and Green raised their hands.
7:14 p.m. Candidates are given a chance to discuss taxes and their budget plans for the city.
7:19 p.m. Johnson is asked about a proposed $1 billion in new spending.
7:22 p.m. Vallas is asked about a proposed cap on property taxes.
7:23 p.m. Lightfoot is asked about statements made at a recent City Club appearance involving local labor unions.
7:25 p.m. The moderators move onto the topic of crime and Lightfoot is given the first question, “can you name three new things you would do as mayor to reduce crime?”
7:27 p.m. Vallas, Buckner, Green, Sawyer, and King are given time to respond to the same question. Buckner, Green, and King all targeted Lightfoot in their responses.
7:34 p.m. Lightfoot is given the chance to respond to the comments by Buckner, Green, and King.
7:38 p.m. The candidates are asked to raise their hands if they would keep David Brown as superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Only Lightfoot raised her hand fully, though Wilson half raised his hand. When asked to clarify his position, Wilson stated the mayor is the one that needs to be fired.
7:39 p.m. Following the hand-raise question the topic of discussion has shifted to what candidates would do with the Chicago Police Department.
7:50 p.m. While most candidates demonstrated support of expanding the Chicago Police Department, Green responded with a different point of view while also attacking Wilson.
7:54 p.m. The topic of discussion turns to education and Chicago Public Schools. Each candidate is given 60 seconds to answer, “what are three things you would do to enrich the educational experience of CPS students?”
8:04 p.m. Green is specifically asked about his proposal of a universal 3K program.
8:06 p.m. The candidates have been asked about a time they have successfully negotiated something and how they would approach collective bargaining units. All nine candidates are given 30 seconds to respond.
8:12 p.m. Another topic and another 30 seconds for each candidate: what are their plans to help Chicagoans experiencing homelessness?
8:19 p.m. The final question is asked, “how can you convince Chicago voters to trust you?” Each candidate is being given 60 seconds to give their final pitch on why voters should choose them.
8:30 p.m. WGN-TV’s live post-forum analysis begins.
The general election, which includes Mayor of Chicago, will take place on Feb. 28. If no single candidate crosses the 50% threshold needed to win the election outright, a runoff election will be held on April 4 between the top two vote getters.