Johnson Defeats Vallas for Mayor; Yancy Wins Fifth Ward After Hone Concedes

Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson and Fourth Ward aldermanic candidate Lamont Robinson won their respective elections on April 4. Desmon Yancy won the Fifth Ward after rival candidate Tina Hone conceded on April 10.


Eric Fang

Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas at a mayoral forum at the Logan Center on March 30, 2023.

By Richard Davis

Brandon Johnson defeated Paul Vallas in a hotly contested mayoral runoff election on Tuesday, April 4, to become the 57th mayor of Chicago. The Associated Press called the race in Johnson’s favor just after 9:30 p.m. CDT.

As of midnight Wednesday, with 99.61 percent of the vote in and five precincts out of 1,291 missing from the final count, Johnson earned 286,647 votes and Vallas 270,775 for 51.42 percent and 48.58 percent of the total, respectively. By Friday, April 7, the totals had updated to 293,442 votes for Johnson and 276,460 votes for Vallas, growing further to 317,178 votes for a 52.13 percent share for Johnson and 291,253 votes for a 47.87 percent share for Vallas.

Johnson will succeed outgoing mayor Lori Lightfoot, who failed to make the runoff after finishing third in the first round of voting on February 28. Johnson will take office on Monday, May 15.

Johnson, who is a current member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and a Chicago Teachers Union organizer, was widely considered the progressive candidate in the race. He ran on a platform of raising taxes on big businesses and the wealthy as well as increasing police accountability and supporting mental health services.

Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), ran on a more moderate platform than Johnson. He called for bolstering public safety by investing in police, as well as improving education by creating a school voucher program and cutting bloat in the CPS budget.

On election night in the runoff for Fifth Ward alderman, community organizer and activist Desmon Yancy, a South Shore native, held a narrow lead over Tina Hone (A.B. ’84), who previously served as the City of Chicago’s chief engagement officer. With 100 percent of precincts reporting at the time, Yancy accumulated 5,700 votes and 51.79 percent of the total to Hone’s 5,306 and 48.21 percent.

However, the Hyde Park Herald reported that on election night, more than 1,700 mail-in ballots were still to be counted. In a follow-up email to The Maroon on Friday, April 7, after 200 more ballots were added to the total and the gap winnowed slightly to 368, Hone wrote that conceding “would not be fair to the people who have been supporting me.”

On Monday, April 10, Hone notified The Maroon that she had conceded the race. With 689 ballots still to be counted, the gap between the pair was 423 ballots, with Yancy on 6,140 votes and Hone on 5,717.

Yancy will replace outgoing alderman Leslie Hairston, who is retiring after 24 years in the position, on May 15.

In the Fourth Ward, with 100 percent of precincts reporting and 750 outstanding mail-in ballots as of April 10, Illinois State Representative Lamont Robinson has earned 8,820 votes for 66.34 percent of the total, soundly defeating opponent Prentice Butler (A.B. ’02, M.A. ’20), who earned 4,476 votes for a total of 33.66 percent.

Robinson will replace outgoing alderman Sophia King, who ran for mayor but failed to make it past the first round.

Turnout for the race as of April 10 was 38.41 percent with 609,700 ballots cast, an increase from the 566,973 ballots cast and 35.85 percent turnout in the first round. A total of 35,249 mail-in ballots remain unaccounted for.

Editor’s note, April 7, 2023: This article was updated to reflect that more ballots have been counted in all the races and that Tina Hone confirmed she did not plan to concede. Turnout is now confirmed to have increased relative to the first round of voting.

Editor’s note, April 10, 2023: This article was updated to reflect that Tina Hone officially conceded the Fifth Ward aldermanic race.