Who Is Lori Lightfoot? Newly Elected Chicago Mayor Is First Black, Openly Gay Woman to Hold City Office

The next mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, made Windy City history as the city's first black, female and openly gay mayor.

Outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not seek re-election, which left 14 candidates vying for the position. Among the candidates was William "Bill" Daley, whose brother and father had ruled Chicago for a combined 40 years.

Lightfoot, 56, a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office, won more than 70 percent of the vote Tuesday night to claim victory over fellow Democrat Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff, according to NBC News. Lightfoot had not held public office before.

At her victory party on Tuesday night, just a moment before she delivered her speech to the crowd, Lightfoot exhaled and said, "Thank you, Chicago."

"In this election, Toni and I were competitors, but our differences are nothing compared to what we can achieve together. Now that it's over, I know we will work together for the city that we both love. Today, you did more than make history. You created a movement for change," Lightfoot said.

Preckwinkle, 72, was a former schoolteacher who had served on Chicago's city council for nearly 20 years before becoming Cook County Board President in 2011.

Preckwinkle acknowledged that two black women vying for the top spot in Chicago was historic. "This may not be the outcome we wanted, but while I may be disappointed, I'm not disheartened," said Preckwinkle, who called Lightfoot to congratulate her on the victory. "For one thing, this is clearly a historic night. Not long ago, two African American women vying for this position would have been unthinkable."

Both women have supported casino activity in downtown Chicago and both support changing to a graduated income tax that would draw more from wealthier citizens. Lightfoot promised to bring more transparency to City Hall, and bring investment to the city's South and West sides.

NBC Chicago reported that Lightfoot had been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as U.S. Representatives Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Robin Kelly.

Who Is Lori Lightfoot? Newly Elected Chicago Mayor Is First Black, Openly Gay Woman to Hold City Office | U.S.