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Election Day: Chicago ready to elect first African-American woman as its mayor

By WGN Web Desk

Chicago will choose a new mayor Tuesday.

Polls across the city opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

Lori Lightfoot, 56, who had served as an assistant U.S. attorney before entering private practice as an attorney, emerged as the surprising leader in the first round of voting in February when 14 candidates were on the ballot. She is matched up this time against Toni Preckwinkle, a former schoolteacher who served on the Chicago City Council for 19 years before becoming Cook County Board president in 2011.

Lightfoot and Preckwinkle appealed for votes all day Monday, and they’ll be greeting voters Tuesday as well.

Voters will determine aldermanic runoff contests in 15 wards.

122,000 early ballots have been cast, which is 3,000 fewer than in February, and 20,000 fewer than in the 2015 mayoral election.

Lightfoot leads in the most recent poll, an incredible feat for a first-time candidate facing a seasoned political heavyweight.

Either candidate will make history as the city’s first Black female mayor. Both have agreed to take part in a joint event with the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday morning.

The winner will join seven other African-American women currently serving as mayors in major U.S. cities, including Atlanta and New Orleans.

This article originally appeared on WGN.

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