How Often Are Mayoral Elections Held in Chicago, Illinois?

Ballotpedia is an organization that encourages all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey and share their political and personal motivations. The survey consists of three mandatory questions, but candidates can also answer additional optional questions. Unfortunately, no candidate in this election has completed the Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey. Ballotpedia strives for 100 percent turnout so that voters can learn more about all the candidates on their ballots. In the past, Chicago held elections with a partisan system.

Candidates could participate in both party primaries and general elections. However, starting in 1999, elections were held without partisanship. This system requires the candidate to obtain a majority of the votes. If no candidate succeeds in the initial vote, a second round is held between the top two finishers.

The only exception is Thomas Hoyne who submitted a written campaign in the controversial elections of April 1876, which were declared invalid by the courts. Today, Chicago holds regularly scheduled mayoral elections every four years, which is the same year as presidential elections. Lori Lightfoot is currently running for mayor and presents Chicago as a city in crisis. She promises to crack down on lawbreakers and has become a great electoral threat. Municipal elections stopped being partisan and the runoff system was established in Chicago starting in 1999. African Americans who had run unsuccessfully for mayor before Harold Washington's first successful campaign in 1983 included Washington himself in 1977; Dick Gregory in 1967; and Richard H. Vallas in 1983. The candidates for these elections submitted reports on campaign funding to the Illinois State Board of Elections. In 1875, the electoral guidelines described in the city's original statutes were abandoned in favor of those described in the Cities and Towns Act of 1872. This changed the date of mayoral elections to the last Tuesday of April of odd-numbered years. Paul Vallas ran for mayor four years ago and received over 30,000 votes, finishing ninth place.

He emphasized his experience with Chicago's public schools as factors that would make him a successful mayor. A law passed on March 4, 1837 established that voters in municipal elections must be residents of the districts they voted in and be absolute owners. Over the past decade, the teachers union has become a powerful actor in Chicago politics as they have engaged in work stoppages, fought with mayors, and presented a liberal vision of the city. On December 2, 1987 after Harold Washington's death while in office, the Chicago City Council voted to appoint Eugene Sawyer as mayor until a special election was held in 1989. For elections held under Chicago's current (non-partisan) system (first implemented in 1999), the following graph and table represent the number of candidates in the initial round (February elections).