‘You brought chaos’: Mayor Lightfoot defends record against challengers ‘Chuy’ García and Brandon Johnson

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot launched a blistering series of attacks on two of her top challengers Monday, accusing Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson of bringing “chaos”

to Chicago schools and his allies in the teachers union during her first term and re-upping claims that U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García is a false reformer whose ties to indicted

former House Speaker Michael Madigan undermine his claims he’ll be an independent mayor. The challengers responded by ripping the mayor for letting crime in Chicago run

rampant, breaking key campaign promises and being a belligerent and ineffective leader of the nation’s third-largest city. The rousing debate, which took place over 90

minutes at the Tribune’s Editorial Board, occurred nearly five weeks from the Feb. 28 election. Lightfoot is trying to secure a second term in office while facing eight

challengers following a turbulent first term that saw her have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes violent protests, spikes in crime and, as she put it, an “economic

meltdown.” The other candidates in the field met last week with the board, which is separate from the newsroom. García, making his second bid for the city’s highest office,

downplayed his relationship with Madigan days after the Tribune reported García is an unidentified member of Congress referenced in federal court filings detailing an alleged

scheme by Madigan to appoint one of García’s political associates to a lucrative position on Commonwealth Edison’s board of directors. García is not accused of wrongdoing and

denied playing any role in the push by Madigan to appoint Juan Ochoa to the utility’s board.