Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Faces Handful of Challengers
(USNewsMag.com) – To say that Chicago, Illinois, has a crime problem is a bit of an understatement. Homicides skyrocketed in 2021 to levels not seen in nearly 25 years, and the city’s Democratic mayor, Lori Lightfoot, seems to be doing little to address what locals call a “pandemic of violence.” Her lack of solutions and progressive politics have gotten so bad that even the police force once turned its back on her. Now, she’s up for re-election in 2023, and she has quite the lineup of competition.
A Look at the Competition
There are a few notable figures challenging Lightfoot for her leadership position: Roderick Sawyer, Frederick Collins, and State Rep. Kambium Buckner (D).
Roderick Sawyer is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps. The son of Eugene Sawyer, he’s currently a city council member and cites this as a perk for his upcoming campaign. He plans to focus on crime as a prevalent issue, saying that Lightfoot isn’t solely responsible, but “she certainly hasn’t helped,” per Fox News. Sawyer also addressed the concept of police reform but in a way that empowers the force, not weakens it.
Kambium Buckner, a Democratic state representative, detailed a 4-star plan on his campaign website, which addresses: safety and justice, improved education for all, economic opportunity and recovery, and stabilizing Chicago’s finances. He wants to make sure the police have the tools they need to do their jobs and protect their communities. In contrast to Lightfoot, Buckner tells Fox he has an actionable plan to address the violence that’s taken root.
Frederick Collins is no stranger to politics or the police force. He’s a 29-year veteran who once ran, unsuccessfully, for mayor in 2015. However, like Sawyer, he acknowledges the city has a serious crime problem and believes his career with the Chicago Police brings a new approach to dealing with crime as a whole. Among his priorities are to implement “deploy stop and frisk” policies with the aid of body cams and eliminate the so-called “no-chase policy.” Collins says Lightfoot is an ineffective leader but says he isn’t going to make his campaign about her, but rather about how his strengths can help the city.
Can She Win?
The main issue Lightfoot faces is that she’s failed to curtail crime rates. In 2021, 797 people died of homicides, and carjackings have increased exponentially. Her opponents think she’s focusing on the wrong things, including “petty feuds,” according to Roderick Sawyer, and not enough on what Chicago needs. With her current approval rating sitting at a dismal 25%, the curtain may be closing on her time in office.
Of course, the decision is up to the voters, who will head to the polls on February 28, 2023.
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