Lori Lightfoot, left; Toni Preckwinkle (Associated Press)

Chicago Mayoral Race: New Poll, Controversial Comments From Rep. Rush

March 25, 2019 - 4:03 pm

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) – A new media poll shows a commanding -- but perhaps not secure -- lead for Lori Lightfoot in the race to be Chicago’s next mayor.

The poll for Crain’s Chicago Business and Channel 11 shows former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot with a 53 percent to 17 percent lead over Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.  

If you only count voters who say they are sure for whom they’ll cast ballots, the Temkin Harris poll gives Lori Lightfoot a 33 point lead over Toni Preckwinkle -- 47 percent to 14 percent. But there are 29 percent undecided. 

Lightfoot tells the Crain’s Editorial Board that she’s listening to all of those voters.

Also Monday, Preckwinkle stood by comments from a political ally, Congressman Bobby Rush, that people of color would have more to fear if Lightfoot were elected because she would be more tolerant of police abuses.

At a South Side rally, Rush condemned Lightfoot as a phony reformer and said anyone who votes for her would have "the blood of the next young black man or black woman who is killed by police” on their hands.

Preckwinkle told reporters: “I said there were legitimate concerns that African-American and Latinx communities had about police-community interactions."

She again noted that Lightfoot served as an appointee under incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Lightfoot, former president of the Chicago Police Board, responded with a prepared statement: "Our city has many challenges to face, and we will not be able to tackle them when we are divided from our fellow residents. The 'rally' led by Toni Preckwinkle on Saturday was beyond unfortunate, it was divisive. There is no room in this campaign for hate-filled rhetoric, and I call on her to denounce the tactics of division and fear-mongering as this campaign enters its final days."

Both Preckwinkle and Lightfoot are African-American. One of them will become the first black woman to be Chicago mayor.