Brandon Johnson, the far-left, self-professed “progressive” candidate who ran on a plan to defund the Chicago Police and raise the city’s taxes, has won his runoff campaign for mayor of Chicago.
Moderate Democrat Paul Vallas led Johnson for most of the night until around 8 p.m. when Johnson began overtaking the former Chicago Public Schools chief.
Vallas ran as a business-friendly, law-and-order candidate while Johnson, who is black, ran a brutal campaign calling Vallas a racist who is “really a Republican.”
The election came down to the wire with more than 500,000 Chicagoans casting their ballot for mayor, but in the end, Johnson was able to maintain his slight lead, although the counting will continue as absentee and mail-in votes are counted after Election Night.
Still, many were calling the mayor’s race by 9 p.m. Central on Tuesday evening.
BREAKING: Brandon Johnson is projected to win the Chicago mayor's race, defeating a billionaire-funded conservative in an upset victory.
Johnson is a public school teacher and labor organizer and ran as a voice of working people. pic.twitter.com/LpOIOwpDcu
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) April 5, 2023
I've seen enough: Brandon Johnson defeats Paul Vallas in the Chicago mayoral runoff.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) April 5, 2023
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 5, 2023
Crime served as a top issue in the runoff even as Johnson continued to try and run away from the debate on the campaign trail.
It was no surprise that Johnson did not want to talk about the issues.
According to the Chicago Tribune, in the wake of the death of George Floyd back in 2020, Johnson — who was a Cook County Commissioner at the time — introduced a resolution to “redirect funds from policing and incarceration to public services not administered by law enforcement.” His “Justice for Black Lives” resolution passed overwhelmingly in July 2020.
Johnson also blasted the now deposed Mayor Lori Lightfoot — who opposed defunding the police — and insisted that “she’s on the wrong side of history. … And the other side of the building has to come to their own reckoning.”
Johnson added, “This will give the county commissioners a road map for taking millions of waste spent on incarceration and policing and reinvesting it.”
A year later, Johnson appeared on WCPT 820′s The Santita Jackson Show and said that defunding the police is not just a slogan, adding, “I don’t look at it as a slogan. It’s an actual real political goal,” the Tribune added.
Johnson has also been in favor of huge hikes in taxes on a city that already has some of the highest taxes in the country.
Under Lori Lightfoot, the Windy City led the nation along with Los Angeles in losing citizens to outward migration.