Chicago Teachers Union Wins Mayoral Runoff

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Full results below:

The Chicago Teachers Union rode a massive turnout of its members and spent millions of dollars in union dues to win Chicago’s mayoral runoff.


Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson was a beneficiary of that union largesse. His name was on the ballot, along with former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paull Vallas. Johnson won by three points.

But no one doubts who is calling the shots in Chicago — the first major American city to be a wholly owned subsidiary of a teachers union.

We’ve had cities controlled by one industry before. Detroit (autos) and Pittsburgh (steel) were company towns until the 1970s when unions drove their industries into the ground.

But teaching isn’t an “industry” and the public schools aren’t companies. In Chicago’s case, the schools are a means to an end — not educating children but rather funding a gigantic radical-left political machine. And the $2 billion in funding spent on the schools may as well be ancillary to the advancement of “progressive” politics.

It should frighten every Chicagoan to know they now have a toady in office who will do the union’s bidding.

As it turns out, Vallas’s tough-on-crime agenda was rejected by minority voters. And one of the immediate impacts of the win by Johnson will be an accelerated departure of Chicago police officers. More than 2,600 officers have resigned since 2020, and Johnson/teachers union has only promised to expand the detective’s department. Fewer cops may mean reduced enforcement of the law but it also means not as much backup for police officers.

Good news for the bangers. Bad news for everyone else.



The progressive victory happened a bit over a month since voters soundly rejected their incumbent mayor, Lori Lightfoot, in the first round of voting in the mayoral election, largely over dissatisfaction with her promises for reform of schools and city policing. With Johnson’s victory, the third-largest city in the country has made an ideological pronouncement about a core tension within the Democratic Party nationally about how to respond to concerns about crime.

Vallas had been the frontrunner for the last few months against Johnson, who got his political start as an organizer with the city’s teachers union. The election pitted two powerful Chicago constituencies against each other: Vallas was backed by the city’s vocal and controversial police union, and Johnson was backed by the teachers union.

Chicago seems to have defied a recent trend in Democratic big-city politics in which tough-on-crime rhetoric, particularly when pitched toward moderate and conservative voters of color, could tip elections. Crime and public safety have been the top concerns for voters throughout the Chicago mayoral contest, mirroring concerns in local races in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City that cities have seen a rise in crime since the pandemic began, though violent crime rates have since begun to fall in many of these areas.

The “moderate”/liberal split that Democrats are talking about today is a mirage. There are candidates who are less radical, but most of the true “moderate Democrats” have been run out of the party in the last two decades. Those suspected of being “moderate” trimmed their sails and became far more “progressive.” Joe Biden is a perfect example. The pro-choice Biden was at once pro-life and very business-friendly in Dupont’s Delaware.


The real split in the Democratic Party is the cleaving between pro- and anti-business Democrats. There are those who are looking to behead the golden goose of capitalism and feed it to their various constituencies, while other Democrats want to keep stealing the golden eggs in the middle of the night, hiding the fact that they support the egg-making while complaining just as loudly about the “rich” not paying their “fair share.”

The teachers union wants the eggs, the goose — the whole shebang. It’s not likely that people are going to stick around long to see how the new regime governs. This being Chicago, there’s a good chance that the best-laid plans of the teachers union will be derailed by the realities of Chicago politics and a graft machine that needs the rich to keep the cash rolling in to pay everyone off.

We can only be certain of one thing: the utter failure of any “reform” plans that look to “soak the rich” to achieve it.


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