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Lori Lightfoot, Political Outsider, Chicago’s New Boundary Busting Mayor

Lori Lightfoot
Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot photographed in the Chicago Tribune studio Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s Democratic Mayor-Elect, has shattered glass ceilings of all kinds in 2019’s election. She’s the first black woman and openly gay person to become Mayor in America’s third largest city.

An endorsement from the Chicago Sun-Times before the election helped push her to victory, “She has the vision, values, qualifications, and policies to be an effective leader for the whole city, from the hedge fund managers to the fast-food workers,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.

“She is calm, focused, principled and independent.”

Chicago Sun-Times

In a New York Times article about Lightfoot, Dan Rose, a senior adviser to the Lightfoot campaign, said she’d benefitted from recent corruption scandals in Chicago. Rose said, “It was the perfect situation for some kind of outsider who would capture that mantle and consolidate the reform-minded vote. People got fed up.”

Mayor-Elect Lightfoot speaks on her priorities for Chicago

Career Highlights

Lightfoot, who campaigned as a political outsider in Chicago, has had plenty of experience working within the city.

  • 2015-2018: President of the Chicago Police Board
  • 2016: Co-Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force
  • 2005-2018: Senior Equity Partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown LLP
  • 2005: First Deputy of the Chicago Department of Procurement Services
  • 2004-2005: Chief of Staff and General Counsel of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications
  • 2002-2004: Chief Administrator of the Office of Professional Standards, Chicago Police Department
  • 1996-2002: Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois


  • B.A., University of Michigan
  • University of Chicago Law School

Considering the history of violence, scandal and corruption in Chicago, Ms. Lightfoot has her work cut out for her. But if the city survived the Great Fire and Al Capone, it just might thrive under Mayor-Elect Lightfoot’s leadership. We wish her the best and congratulations to her, her wife Amy and daughter Vivian! (Shown below.)

Lori Lightfoot, Amy Eshleman and their daughter, Vivian
Source: Facebook