Lightfoot, Preckwinkle make final pushes ahead of mayoral runoff election

By Tuesday night, Chicagoans will have made history, choosing an African American woman as the city’s next mayor.

Polls open at 6 a.m. on Tuesday in what has been a heated contest to succeed Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle were both making last-minute pushes for votes on Monday.

Some evening commuters accepted a handshake from Lightfoot at the CTA’s Jefferson Park station, while others went in for a hug with the political newcomer. Dozens more, though, insisted on cellphone photos, presumably to post as proof to family and friends.

Preckwinkle stumped at Malcolm X College's West Side Learning Center, touting what she's done to help newly released prison inmates get jobs and re-enter society.

Whether it's Preckwinkle or Lightfoot winning Tuesday night, the next mayor of Chicago faces difficult decisions about budget cuts and tax increases.

“You know what? I think if you're honest and transparent with the voters and you bring them into the discussion, even though we have tough choices that we're gonna have to make together, making sure that people's real experiences are reflected and they feel like they have a seat at the table, then you're gonna get to the right result. And people are gonna rally around it,” Lightfoot told FOX 32 on Monday.

“Not just talk about it, not talk about what ought to happen. Toni is a builder!” Congressman Danny Davis said about Preckwinkle.

“We're going to have a good force out there tomorrow to bring out our vote and to work hard to identify our voters,” Preckwinkle said Monday.

Election officials say vote-by-mail numbers are far ahead of the totals in the 2015 mayoral runoff. But early voting totals are down substantially with about 19,000 fewer ballots cast.