Get to Know Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Ahead of First Forum Before Runoff Election - NBC Chicago
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Get to Know Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Ahead of First Forum Before Runoff Election

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Get to Know Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Ahead of First Forum Before Runoff Election

    Note: See the candidates' responses to NBC 5's questionnaire below.

    Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle will square off Thursday in the first televised forum of the final two candidates for Chicago mayor ahead of the runoff election.

    NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago, in partnership with the Union League Club of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League, will host the hour-long event beginning at 6 p.m. You can find more information, including how to watch live, here

    Lightfoot and Preckwinkle advanced to the runoff by garnering 21 and 19 percent of the vote, respectively, to finish first and second of the 14 candidates running in the municipal election on Feb. 26.

    Before the two take part in Thursday's forum, get to know Lightfoot and Preckwinkle with brief biographies and their responses to seven questions about issues impacting the city.

    Lori Lightfoot is the former president of the Chicago Police Board who entered the race before outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel bowed out. Emanuel appointed Lightfoot chair of the Police Accountability Task Force in the wake of the 2014 Laquan McDonald shooting, and she has used that experience to tout her credentials on law enforcement reforms. 

    A former federal prosecutor from 1996 to 2002, Lightfoot has also held various roles in city government, including as chief of staff for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications in 2005. She was most recently a partner at Mayer Brown LLP.

    Toni Preckwinkle is the current Cook County Board President, a position she has held since 2010. Before that, she was elected to five terms as alderman of the 4th Ward on the city's South Side. In April, she became chair of the Cook County Democratic Party after Assessor Joe Berrios lost his primary election. 

    Preckwinkle enjoys significant support from organized labor, particularly Service Employees International Union Local 1 and the Chicago Teachers Union, as a former high school history teacher.

    Before the first election, NBC 5 asked all the candidates seven questions about important issues Chicago faces, from education to violence, pension obligations to property taxes and more. Take a look at how Lightfoot and Preckwinkle each answered by tapping their names: 

    You can also see how a breakdown of how each ward voted for mayor by tapping an area on the map below, or entering an address: 

    Source: Chicago Board of Elections
    Credit: Sam Hart/NBC

    Thursday's forum will be broadcast in its entirety live on NBC 5, on NBCChicago.com and on the NBC Chicago app. It will also be simultaneously translated live in Spanish on Telemundo Chicago, TelemundoChicago.com and on the Telemundo Chicago app.

    The runoff election is scheduled to take place on April 2, with early voting beginning on March 15.

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