Chicago mayoral election: Johnson, Vallas face off in final forum

With just five days to go until the runoff, Chicago mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson are trying to pick up as many endorsements as they can. 

Hundreds of Johnson supporters flooded the Credit Union One Arena for a political rally Thursday night.

The progressive icon Bernie Sanders took the stage after other speakers showed his national support for mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson.

Just before this rally, a forum took place at the University of Chicago, where the two candidates squared off over school safety and whether schools should have more police officers.

"I believe that officers are there to deter active shooters not to police the schools when the schools have been, when officers have been improperly utilized by the principals, that's when you have problems and tension. Look, my opponent wants to defund the police," said Vallas.

"I am not gonna defund the police, Paul I am, hear me, I am not going to defund the police," replied Johnson. "I firmly believe in the power and the leadership of local school councils because that's ultimately who gets to make those decisions."


Vallas picked up his own endorsement Thursday from more than 100 Latino faith leaders, he's hoping to utilize those communities when he becomes mayor. 

"If we are smart, our faith-based institutions, churches and religious organizations of all denominations can help us make the communications safe by providing crisis interventions, so much experience, they know the community," said Vallas.

The runoff election is next Tuesday and the race is essentially a dead heat between the candidates. 

Early voting continues through election day.