It’s Mayor Johnson in a stunner

Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. What a political whirlwind with Donald Trump keeping the GOP in disarray and Democrats seeing the left swoop in.

Brandon Johnson defeated Paul Vallas on Tuesday to become the next mayor of Chicago, defying a view that tough-on-crime action is needed to shift the city’s crime problem. Our story on POLITICO’s home page

With nearly all precincts reporting — but some 90,000 ballots left to count — Johnson led Vallas, 51 percent to 49 percent. Results here. And here’s how precincts voted, via WBEZ.

“Tonight, Chicago chose hope over fear,” Johnson, a Cook County commissioner and progressive union organizer, told supporters in his victory speech at the Marriott Marquis. “I ain’t never seen a city silence a dog whistle.”

A few minutes earlier at the Hyatt on Wacker Drive, Vallas told a stunned crowd that even with mail-in-ballots still up for grabs, he had called Johnson to say, “I absolutely expect him to be the next mayor of Chicago.” There were some gasps and “boos,” which Vallas asked to stop.

Vallas added he would support Johnson. “It’s clear based on the results tonight that the city is deeply divided,” said Vallas, a veteran politician who emerged as the top vote-getter in the first round in part because he was the only white person among nine candidates.

Johnson’s tone was similarly conciliatory. To those who didn’t vote for him, the union organizer and former schoolteacher said, “I care about you. I value you. And I want to hear from you. I want to work with you. I will be the mayor for you, too.”

Johnson was a longshot in many ways when he entered the mayor’s race. He had little name recognition, lacked Vallas’ budgeting experience and was caught on tape defending the “defund the police” movement. The latter is what differentiated him most from Vallas, who ran on a “tough on crime” campaign.

What Johnson did have was the Chicago Teachers Union, whose members were the heart of his ground game.

Nationally: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called Johnson’s election “a transformational moment.”

Mayoral messages:

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who lost her bid for reelection in the first round of the race, congratulated Johnson on a “hard-fought runoff victory,” adding: “It is time for all of us as Chicagoans, regardless of our zip code or neighborhood, our race or ethnicity, the creator we worship, or who we love, to come together and recommit ourselves to uniting around our shared present and future.” Lightfoot also said she would “collaborate throughout the transition period.”

Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, now the U.S. ambassador to Japan, gave a hat tip on Twitter: “Congratulations to Brandon Johnson on being elected the 57th mayor of Chicago. It’s a job of a lifetime, Brandon. Your success is the Second City’s success — and I am rooting for your success.”

The headlines …

Where Johnson did well: ‘We outperformed on the lakefront. The turnout was good. We outperformed on the South Side in terms of the margin. It could be the case that some of the voters on the South Side who felt like they couldn’t vote for us didn’t vote at all,” Jason Lee, a senior adviser to the Johnson campaign, told the Sun-Times in a piece by Fran Spielman, Tina Sfondeles and Nader Issa.

The youth vote was up from February, which likely helped Johnson, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

Johnson also won 80 percent of the Black vote, according to political consultant Frank Calabrese, who mapped Johnson’s wins.

The challenges Johnson will face: crime, schools, city finances, by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt

More on Election Night and what Johnson’s victory means to his supporters, by By WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel, Sarah Karp and Dan Mihalopoulos

Opinion: Black political establishment may face a ‘reckoning’: “What will it mean if ward-level data show Black voters cast ballots for Johnson, while their City Council representatives backed Vallas?” writes Natalie Y. Moore in the Sun-Times.

Springfield: Mayor Jim Langfelder concedes to Misty Buscher: “The concession means Buscher, the city treasurer, will be just the second woman elected mayor of Springfield. With all precincts reporting, Buscher defeated Langfelder by 772 votes, getting 51.5 percent of the vote to Langfelder’s 48.5 percent,” by State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth, Steven Spearie, Patrick Keck and Tiffani Jackson.

Results from the burbs …

— Naperville: Scott Wehrli edged two-term city councilman Benny White in mayor’s race, by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit

— Elgin: David Kaptain takes early lead over Corey Dixon in mayor race, by Daily Herald’s Rick West

— Joliet: Terry D’Arcy declares victory over Bob O’Dekirk in the race for mayor, by Tribune’s Jonathan Bullington, Robert McCoppin and Suzanne Baker

Back in Chicago …

— 4th Ward: State Rep. Lamont Robinson wins race to replace Ald. Sophia King: “Robinson defeated King’s longtime chief of staff Prentice Butler to represent several Near South Side neighborhoods,” by Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden.

— 5th Ward: Desmon Yancy will take over for retiring Ald. Leslie Hairston after defeating Martina “Tina” Hone, by Block Club’s Maxwell Evans

— 6th and 10th Wards: William Hall to replace Ald. Roderick Sawyer in 6th; Peter Chico wins in 10th, by Sun-Times’ David Struett and Mohammad Samra

— 11th Ward: Ald. Nicole Lee is elected to her first full term, by Tribune’s John Byrne, A.D. Quig and Sarah Macaraeg

— 21st Ward: Community organizer Ronnie Mosley to replace Ald. Howard Brookins, by Block Club’s Atavia Reed

— 24th Ward: Ald. Monique Scott wins, keeping West Side Ward in the family, by Block Club’s Trey Arline

— 29th Ward: Ald. Chris Taliaferro is still in a tight race with community activist C.B. Johnson, by Tribune’s A.D. Quig and John Byrne

— 30th Ward: Ruth Cruz defeats Jessica Jessica Gutiérrez to replace retiring Ald. Ariel Reboyras, by Block Club’s Alex Hernandez

— 36th Ward: Ald. Gil Villegas wins runoff, by CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman

43rd Ward: Ald. Timmy Knudsen defeats community leader Brian Comer, by Block Club’s Jake Wittich and Ariel Parrella-Aureli

— 45th Ward: Despite controversies, Ald. Jim Gardner wins reelection, by Tribune’s A.D. Quig and John Byrne

— 46th Ward: Angela Clay wins despite big money to support opponent Kim Walz, by Block Club’s Joe Ward

48th Ward: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth to replace retiring Ald. Harry Osterman after defeating Joe Dunne, by Block Club’s Joe Ward and Kayleigh Padar

— And in St. Louis, Peter Gariepy, a former Chicago treasurer candidate was among the top three vote-getters for the Ladue School Board

If you are Jim Gardner, Playbook would like to hear your approach to politics going forward. Email [email protected].

At University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign at 10 a.m. to highlight higher education investments.

No official public events.

No official public events.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

‘Not if, but when’: Mass shootings change what it means to be a mayor in America: POLITICO spoke with six mayors whose communities were affected by mass shootings. They told us about their experience facing tragedy — and how those moments changed them and their cities. On story, of course, is from Highland Park.

— RELATED: ‘Once again, our community was terrorized’: Highland Park mayor addresses school incident: “Mayor Nancy Rotering thanked first responders and district staff for their handling of the incident, but noted how troubling it was for the community that suffered a mass shooting less than one year ago,” via NBC 5.

We asked what button you’d add to your keyboard.

Clem Balanoff: A VETO key “to act when legislative bodies pass laws that only benefit the rich at the expense of working women and men. It would be a very active key.”

James Castro: A button that says “ I’m sorry/I forgive you.”

Robert Emmons Jr.: “DND,” Do not disturb.

Marilynn Miller: “A button called ‘Skip this ever-repeating nonsense’ for articles that keep reporting the same old junk over and over.”

Wesley Epplin: “An em dash key — with no keyboard shortcuts needed.”

Joan Pederson: “T-Sat,” TSA PreCheck fast lane on Saturday. “A faster alternative to the sluggish log-in process when everyone else nearby is online too.”

Seth Rosland: A button to increase font size.

Patricia Ann Watson: “CRFL,” Careful.

Steve Weiss: A button to unsubscribe to unwanted emails.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your new mayor, whoever it might be? Email [email protected]

The new revelations — and key questions — in the Trump indictment, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein

With an ‘arraignment party,’ Trump jolts his campaign, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw, Natalie Allison and Alex Isenstadt

While Trump’s base rallies, the GOP fractures, by POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg

Liberals take over Wisconsin Supreme Court — with major implications for abortion, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro

— Sarah Sise has joined Quarles & Brady’s Chicago office as a partner in the labor, employment and benefits practice. She was a partner at Armstrong Teasdale.

— Joel Gustafson has been named chief information officer at Crowell & Moring, where he’ll lead the firm’s information services team. Gustafson was global director, CTO at Mayer Brown.

— Rosa Vasquez, the 28-year-old daughter of Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García, has died. In a statement, the Illinois congressman said: “We are completely heartbroken. Rosa joined our family as a young girl who had been in the foster care system. We did our best to provide a stable, loving and welcoming home for her. Our family asks for privacy and welcomes your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time.”

— Philip W. Weber, a longtime former Illinois Senate Republican staffer, has died. Obit here

— James J. (Jim) Glasser, chair emeritus of Chicago-based GATX Corp. and a former chair of the Chicago Community Trust’s Executive Committee, died March 14 at his home in Tucson, Ariz. Obit here

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Dale Sachtleben for correctly answering that Gov. Len Small was arrested in 1921 on charges of embezzlement, conspiracy and confidence game charges in connection with his service as state treasurer from 1917 to 1919. A year later, a jury found him not guilty of the charges.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Illinois elected official who played in the championship game of the NIT basketball finals? Email [email protected]

Attorney Michael Radzilowsky, Loyola University Chicago admissions exec Lindsy Fagerstrom Borneman, Georges & Synowiecki partner Michael Synowiecki and Noble Charter Schools chief of public affairs Claudia Rodriguez.



April 5, 2023 at 07:13AM

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