Chicago’s Lightfoot leads way in what could be ‘year of the lesbian mayor’ – NBCNews.com

Sweeping all 50 wards of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday became the first LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of America’s third-largest city.

“Out there tonight, a lot of little girls and boys are watching. They’re watching us, and they’re seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different,” Lightfoot, 56, who is also the first black woman elected mayor in the country’s third-largest city, told a jubilant crowd at a downtown hotel. “They’re seeing a city reborn.”

Chicago mayor elect Lori Lightfoot kisses her wife, Amy Eshleman, during her election night party in Illinois on April 2, 2019.Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP – Getty Images

Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, was not the only lesbian to win Tuesday night: Satya Rhodes-Conway, a Democrat, defeated Paul Soglin to become mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, the state’s second-largest city. In addition to wins in Chicago and Madison, two other major cities — Kansas City, Missouri and Tampa, Florida — have lesbian mayoral candidates who are heading to runoff elections.

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, CEO of Victory Fund, a nonpartisan organization that promotes LGBTQ candidates, hailed Lightfoot’s groundbreaking victory.

“A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics,” Parker, who is a lesbian, said in a statement shared with NBC News.

“Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing Chicago,” Parker continued, “but as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of an American city — a title she takes from me — she is also now a key leader in the movement to build LGBTQ political power nationwide.”

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