Lori Lightfoot is the former president of the Chicago Police Board. Emanuel appointed Lightfoot to head the board in 2015, and to chair the Police Accountability Task Force in 2016, in the wake of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. A former federal prosecutor from 1996 to 2002, Lightfoot has also held various roles in city government, including as chief of staff for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications in 2005. She most recently was a partner at Mayer Brown LLP and entered the race before Emanuel dropped out - criticizing the candidates, including Preckwinkle, who launched their bids after his announcement. A late surge, seemingly fueled by an endorsement from the Chicago Sun-Times and other candidates' perceived ties to the so-called "machine," was enough to put Lightfoot at the top, earning 17.5 percent of the vote.
Toni Preckwinkle is the current Cook County Board President, a position she has held since 2010. Before that, she was elected to five terms as alderman of the 4th Ward on the city's South Side. In April, she became chair of the Cook County Democratic Party after Assessor Joe Berrios lost his primary election. Preckwinkle enjoys significant support from organized labor, particularly Service Employees International Union Local 1 and the Chicago Teachers Union. She championed the ill-fated soda tax, which was repealed amid public outcry just months after it went into effect in August 2017. Preckwinkle finished second in the first election, earning 16 percent of the vote.