An Update on Chicago’s Mayoral Race

On Tuesday, February 26th, just over 500,000 Chicago voters cast their ballots for the city’s next mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and the aldermen who make up City Council. Turnout was disappointingly low, especially for young voters. Since no mayoral candidate won more than  50% of the vote, the Chicago mayoral race will now move into a runoff election that will take place on April 2nd. The final two candidates are former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

The Mayor of Chicago has tremendous power when it comes to our schools. The Mayor appoints the CEO of Chicago Public Schools and appoints the school board that has ultimate oversight over our schools.

The Chicago Sun-Times published statements made by the candidates about charter public schools, which we’ve excerpted here. While Elevate Chicago does not endorse candidates, we want to make sure our coalition is informed about where each candidate stands on our schools.

  • Lori Lightfoot, former President of the Chicago Police Board and Federal Prosecutor: “I support a freeze on new charter schools. We must hold existing charter schools accountable for educating our children just as we do Chicago Public Schools. We must change the relationship between CPS and charters. Charters play a significant role in the education of our children, but CPS’ approach is often to treat charters like just another vendor. That must change.”
  • Toni Preckwinkle, President of Cook County Board: “During the last administration, charters have become a weapon for corporate privatization of education. … I support a freeze on any new charter schools until a fully elected school board can be implemented.”


We do not verify the accuracy of the candidate’s statements as presented here and instead are displaying them as published by the Sun-Times.