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Lori Lightfoot’s sexuality targeted in flyers as she picks up union endorsements

BY Craig Walls, ABC 7 News

Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot has become the target of flyers attacking her sexuality.

Her opponent Toni Preckwinkle condemned the messages as Lightfoot picked up a collection of endorsements heading into the campaign’s final two weeks.

Lori Lightfoot accepted the endorsements from 10 unions Monday, including Teamsters Local 705 and other organizations representing letter carriers, CTA drivers and numerous trades.

The endorsements come one day after flyers featuring a picture of her and her wife were distributed outside an African American church in Bronzeville and at least one more on Chicago’s Far South Side.

The flyers suggest if Lightfoot is elected mayor that all contracts, jobs, and employment opportunities will be given exclusively to gay people and that churches will have to abide by the gay marriage laws.

“Any attempt by anyone to propagate hate, we have to stand together as a city to demand and denounce it unequivocally, because hate can have no place in our city,” Lightfoot said.

The flyers also come one week after Toni Preckwinkle was accused of using Lightfoot’s sexuality as a dog whistle during a debate – something Preckwinkle denied. On Monday, she denounced the flyers.

“I condemn them, they have nothing to do with our campaign. It’s disgraceful,” Preckwinkle said.

Preckwinkle – who expects to announce her own endorsements on Tuesday – questioned why Lightfoot cancelled a forum with the YWCA that was to happen Monday night. Lightfoot said it was due to a scheduling conflict.

“I think there’s five more televised debates and about 10 more forums,” Lightfoot said. “I did a whole slate over the weekend. We’re not resting on our laurels, we’re keeping our foot on the gas.”

Preckwinkle also downplayed being booed during the Northwest Side Irish Parade Sunday, the same day Lightfoot picked up a key endorsement from Chuy Garcia and former rival Jerry Joyce.

“You know, I got a lot of high fives and a lot of people who were cheering and you know some people are unhappy, you know I think that’s gonna be the case where ever you go and I was generally really pleased with the response I got,” Preckwinkle said.

Toni Preckwinkle picked up another union endorsement herself Monday from the Illinois Federation of teachers as the battle for endorsements seems to be a daily tug of war for both support and momentum heading into the April 2 runoff.

This article originally appeared in ABC 7 News.

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