Yancy, Hone Advance to Fifth Ward Runoff as Lightfoot Loses Mayoral Race

Jeanette Taylor was reelected 20th Ward alderman. Runoff elections for mayor, Fourth Ward alderman, and Fifth Ward alderman will take place April 4.

By Michael McClure

Fifth Ward aldermanic candidates Desmon Yancy and Martina “Tina” Hone will advance to a runoff election on April 4 after accumulating the two highest vote counts among the 11 candidates running to replace incumbent Leslie Hairston, who is retiring after 24 years in office. Full results from the February 28 election were released with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Yancy, a community organizer and police accountability activist from South Shore, earned 25.96 percent of the vote, while Hone, a University of Chicago alum who most recently worked as the city’s chief engagement officer, earned 18.57 percent. Behind them, in order, were Renita Ward, Wallace Goode, Jocelyn Hare, Joshua Gray, Kris Levy, Gabriel Piemonte, Dialika “Dee” Perkins, Marlene Fisher, and Robert Palmer.

Meanwhile, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot failed to make the mayoral runoff election, losing out to Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson. Lightfoot finished a distant third with 94,890 votes, just over half that of Vallas. She conceded the race Tuesday evening at 8:45 p.m., less than two hours after polls closed. Lightfoot and the other outgoing City Hall leaders will officially step down in the middle of May.

Vallas, the former superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools and the race’s political moderate, earned 185,743 votes for 32.90 percent of ballots cast. In the April 4 runoff, he will face Cook County commissioner Brandon Johnson, who earned 122,093 votes for 21.63 percent of ballots cast.

Lightfoot, who was elected in 2019, is the first sitting mayor of Chicago since Jane Byrne in 1983 to lose reelection. Lightfoot and Byrne are the only two women to have served as mayor of Chicago.

Elsewhere in Hyde Park, with 100 percent of votes tallied, Lamont Robinson, the Illinois state representative for the Fifth District, earned 5,789 votes for Fourth Ward alderman, equivalent to 46.28 percent. Robinson’s tally was more than three times as large as that of any other Fourth Ward candidate.

With 1,906 votes, Prentice Butler edged Ebony Lucas for second place by just 104 votes in a ward where 12,509 ballots were cast.

The winner between Robinson and Butler will replace outgoing alderman Sophia King, for whom Butler serves as the chief of staff. King vacated the seat to run for mayor, but her bid was unsuccessful. She finished eighth in the mayoral election with 7,191 votes, one place and 3,901 votes behind fellow local politician Kam Buckner, the Illinois State Representative for the 26th district.

In the 20th Ward, Jeanette Taylor narrowly avoided a runoff election, securing a second term in City Hall with 52.60 percent of the vote and defeating challengers Jennifer Maddox and Andre Smith.

For the newly created police district councils, Ephraim Lee, Julia Kline, and Alexander Perez will fill the three seats in the Second Police District, also known as the Wentworth District. Lee, Kline, and Perez earned 27.67, 27.64, and 23.84 percent of the vote respectively. Coston Plummer, who earned 20.85 percent of the votes, was the only candidate who did not earn a seat.

City clerk Anna Valencia and city treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin were also officially reelected to their posts after running uncontested. Valencia secured 457,007 votes and Conyears-Ervin 442,553.

In light of the Obama Presidential Center’s impending arrival, the Obama Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) Coalition placed two referenda on the ballot for Fifth Ward residents. Both received resounding support.

An ordinance requesting that the eventual alderman and mayor support a CBA in South Shore ran in precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. This ordinance received between 74.51 percent and 95.65 percent support in each of the nine precincts.

Another ordinance to support the construction of at least 75 percent affordable housing in a city-owned vacant lot at East 63rd Street and South Blackstone Avenue appeared on ballots in the 13th and 14th precincts. The measure earned 85.61 and 97.60 percent support, respectively.

A total of 566,973 out of 1,581,564 eligible voters cast ballots in the 2023 municipal elections, for a 35.85 percent turnout.

The interactive infographic below shows the vote breakdown by precinct for each item on the ballot.


Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 21, 2023, with the complete election results.

Clarification, March 31, 2023: A previous version of this article stated that the Obama CBA ballot measures passed in the election. The two referenda were nonbinding.