Live

Watch CBSN Live

Chicago voters will elect its first black woman for mayor

Historic Chicago election
Historic Chicago election 01:57

Chicago — Chicago is making history as it elects a new mayor. One of the two female candidates will become the city's first African American female mayor, and both are calling for calm in a city rocked by recent scandals.

CBS News' Dean Reynolds spoke to both Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, and Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

"I'm really hopeful that this is a message about change that is really action," Preckwinkle said.

Electing Lightfoot, whose ads feature her daughter, would be another first -- a fact Preckwinkle noted during a recent debate. Black, female and gay, Lightfoot says she personifies progress.

"You've got three hard ceilings," Reynolds said. "Ten years ago, it'd be unthinkable."

"I think that's right. Not only unthinkable, maybe dangerous," Lightfoot said.

It's not surprising that both candidates emphasize change. Either will face serious problems left to them from outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The city's finances are a mess, income inequality is obvious, seemingly intractable violence haunts the poorest neighborhoods, as does animosity toward the police patrolling them.

"Change for some people is really hard. But change in our city and particularly in our police department is absolutely mission critical," Lightfoot said.

A poll last week showed Lightfoot with a wide lead over Preckwinkle. But this is Chicago, where elections are often expected to contain a few surprises.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.