Chicago mayoral candidates Johnson, Vallas face off in FOX 32 Forum
CHICAGO - The two remaining candidates in the race for Chicago mayor squared off Wednesday night in a forum hosted by FOX 32 Chicago.
Our LIVE blog for the forum is posted below. Mobile users click HERE.
The candidates are: Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Board Commissioner Brandon Johnson.
There were some key issues that got the candidates fired up. It started with Vallas taking aim at Johnson over the issue of policing in schools.
"It is a fact that the Chicago Teachers Union leadership, including Brandon, have been advocates for defunding the police and have been advocates for getting the police officers out of the schools. So let me tell you, I was a teacher too at all levels, in fact I spent probably more time as a teacher at all levels, including in the military, then the four years that you spent in general in the school that I built in Cabrini Green," Vallas said.
Johnson felt that Vallas dismissed his time spent teaching in the classroom.
"I don't think it's right because it's not for Paul Vallas to dismiss my time as a teacher. You can't just keep dismissing people Paul, it's irresponsible, and you've failed everywhere you've gone, and you've been allowed to fail up," Johnson said.
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Another issue up for debate between the two candidates was taxes, and who will feel the brunt of it.
"He's not taxing the rich, he's imposing taxes that are gonna pummel the economy at a time when we could be drifting into a recession.," Vallas said.
Johnson responded,"Paul, I never proposed an income tax."
Vallas has come under fire for his Twitter account where offensive, racist posts, were liked. He finally addressed it.
FOX 32 moderator: "Did you identify who this was?"
"Really we didn't. We know that obviously a lot of people had access to our social media, so we had to take the necessary precautions," Vallas said.
Johnson has faced attacks, too, over comments made about shifting the money from the police budget.
"I'm not going to defund the police and everyone knows that," Johnson said.
The runoff election is April 4. Early voting began March 20 — voting sites are open in all 50 wards. Click here for a full list.