Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot takes center stage at West Side forum in rival Preckwinkle’s absence


Several hundred community members gathered at the Kehrein Center for the Arts, 5608 W. Washington Blvd., for the West Side Mayoral Forum last Thursday night to hear from runoff mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle just five days before Election Day.

On the night of the debate Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt noted on Twitter audience members became restless with what appeared to be extreme tardiness on Preckwinkle’s behalf after Lightfoot took her seat on stage. A representative from Preckwinkle’s campaign responded  to Pratt by sharing a screenshot of an email sent to an event organizer only a few hours before that explained why the Cook County board president would not be in attendance. Forum moderator CBS 2 Chicago reporter Dorothy Tucker later voiced her displeasure over the timing of the response with a tweet of her own.

With Preckwinkle absent Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, took questions from community leaders and residents on matters of police accountability, marijuana legalization, economic development and reinvestment on the West Side.

Scroll through the photos above, and to read more on the forum, click here.