As the number of mail-in ballots continues to increase, it is expected that the gap, which has continued to widen, will be counted. By 9:30 p.M., Paul Johnson was leading by more than 16,000 votes, quickly tightening the race to a 50-50 split. While Vallas started the night with an early lead.
Johnson, whom he claimed to have phoned to offer congratulations, urged backing for Johnson. However, Vallas asserted that the outcome revealed a significant rift within the city. Speaking to his followers shortly after, Vallas highlighted the fact that the Associated Press declared Johnson the winner around 9:35 p.M.
According to the Chicago Board of Elections, the number of individuals who were officially registered to vote was 1,592,894. When the polls closed, the total number of ballots cast was 503,382, resulting in a voter turnout rate of 33.2%.
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The atmosphere during Johnson’s election party was filled with excitement and enthusiasm as his supporters eagerly awaited his victory speech. Previously an organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, Johnson received funding from SEIU and credited the “multicultural movement” for his rise from relative obscurity to the fifth floor of City Hall.
WATCH: Brandon Johnson’s triumphant address.
Up until now, he has been convinced that hard work is the key to success. He has been sending messages and knocking on doors to promote his campaign, and in the last five weeks, he has been actively engaging with people and organizing events.
In his triumphant victory speech, Johnson struck a highly optimistic and triumphant note as he talked about how tonight signifies the government truly belonging to the people of Chicago. He also mentioned that the government will finally have labor rights movement and civil rights movement.
He also ended his speech saying this is a time to “celebrate the revival and the resurrection of the City of Chicago.”.
Supporters of Vallas were astonished and even jeered when he informed them that he had conceded to Johnson. However, the former CEO of CPS and city budget director carefully analyzed the calculations and concluded that there was no feasible method for him to bridge the divide with the uncounted mail-in ballots.
WATCH: Paul Vallas speaks to his followers.
Vallas informed his followers that during his transition, he extended his complete backing to him. He emphasized the significance of this crucial juncture and the need for unity. He expressed concern that if this election were to create divisions among us, his campaign, which aimed to unite the city, would not fulfill his ambitions. This campaign holds immense importance, critically so.
Chicago residents started queuing at the voting stations early on Tuesday to ensure their vote is significant.
Voter Rob Shapiro expressed, “I am delighted to be given the chance to cast my vote.” “I educate in various countries, including those where individuals are deprived of voting rights, and I understand the significance of this.”
In a statement released by outgoing mayor Lori Lightfoot, I congratulate Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson on his hard-fought victory in the runoff. This evening is a time for all Chicagoans, regardless of our ethnicity, race, neighborhood, or zip code, to come together and recommit ourselves to loving and worshiping our creator.
I am committed to making Chicago an even better place to live, work, do business, and raise a family. I released a congratulatory statement, saying that I would also like to congratulate Mayor-elect Johnson on his victory. Governor JB Pritzker also released a statement congratulating Johnson.
The voting mega center in the Loop on Clark and Lake experienced a surge during the morning rush.
Bill Rue expressed difficulty in deciding between the two mayoral contenders, Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas.
Rue said, “Voting and getting out to do it is very important, but they have both positive and negative aspects because I don’t necessarily like either of them.”
If there is no progress, it might compel them to depart from the urban area. Public safety and criminal activity have been the factors that influenced individuals to participate in the elections, making it one of the major concerns.
“If it doesn’t get better, I am genuinely worried about the security of my family and my friends,” voter Jonathan Soco expressed.
Elvira Garcia, a voter, expressed, “The presence of gang violence and gun violence is a significant concern for me when it comes to the important issues happening here.”
Craig Sims stated that the matter of crime did not impact his decision to vote.
Sims expressed his concern about the city’s economic development, emphasizing the need to address issues, improve neighborhoods, focus on the downtown area and developments in the north, while not neglecting the South and West sides.
Several voters mentioned that they completed their research, examining the candidates in the weeks preceding Election Day.
Nubia voter Benitez expressed, “Moreover, there was a significant police presence, and it was evident that immigrants, who are obviously parents, played a major role in the immigration discourse. I closely followed numerous debates on this topic.”
Kristen Davis stated, ‘Although I did not feel it was very important, voting was still my first choice and I neither liked nor disliked it.’
William Lowry mentioned that his choice was straightforward.
He stated, “The African American vote holds immense significance.” Frequently, regions experiencing significant advancements and transformations are those where the African American vote is concentrated.
And certain voters are simply desiring for alteration, period.
“I am optimistic about experiencing a revitalizing change,” expressed voter Asomah Akainyah. “I have great expectations for a promising future in Chicago, with new opportunities on the horizon and a strong sense of community. I am hopeful for someone who truly advocates for the needs and concerns of the people, and ensures their voices are heard.”
If it is not clear, we will know who won the race by the end of the night, as stated by Chicago election officials, based on the mail and early voting by a larger number of people.
There are still 91,000 outstanding mail-in ballots, and the remaining number of ballots yet to be received need to be tallied. Chicago accepts mail-in ballots that are postmarked on Election Day, but it remains uncertain whether we will have a declared victor by Tuesday evening.
Vallas’ campaign strategist and other political analysts believe it may require some time to announce a victor.
Democratic strategist Tom Bowen stated, “If the lead is less than four or three points, the question is only whether we have to wait until every vote is counted. That’s going to be a difficult change.”