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Chicago mayor accuses foe of racist ‘dog whistle’ in contentious campaign

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has accused a rival of using “the ultimate dog whistle” as they engage in a divisive campaign to see who will lead the Windy City once voters head to the polls next Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas’ comments to crowds that his campaign is about “taking our city back” did not sit well with Lightfoot.

“He’s saying in certain audiences that we have to take our city back,”

Lightfoot said on Monday, questioning Vallas’ intent behind his remarks

“We don’t need that in our city,” she added. “And ‘take our city back’ meaning what? To what time? And take our city back from whom?”

During a campaign stop last week in Garfield Ridge, Chicago, Vallas told those gathered, “This whole campaign is about taking back our city, pure and simple.”

Vallas repeatedly attacked Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in addition to his comments blasting Lightfoot. The mayoral candidate reminded the audience that Foxx was re-elected twice, encouraging them to take a different route with Lightfoot.

Lightfoot’s remarks Monday come after rallies over the weekend where the mayor made controversial statements about voting while mobilizing Black people against Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, the sole Latino candidate, and Vallas, the only white challenger.

“Any vote coming from the South Side for somebody not named Lightfoot is a vote for ‘Chuy’ Garcia or Paul Vallas,” Lightfoot told attendees at campaign appearances in Chicago’s Black communities Saturday. “If you want them controlling your destiny, then stay home. Then don’t vote. But we’ve got to do better.”

Garcia and Vallas are the two non-Blacks of the other eight candidates for Chicago mayor.

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Written by Jamil Johnson