The History of Chicago’s mayoral office: Did you know?

Chicago’s municipal elections are coming up on February 26, and voters in the nation’s third-largest city are surrounded by news stories, campaign finance data, polling numbers, endorsements, and campaign ads. We invite you to take a short break from the news cycle to dive into the history of the city and the mayoral office—doing so will help put the 2019 election in better context (and give you some fun facts to share with friends).
 
Did you know?
  1. Chicago has hosted more major-party national conventions than any other city at 25. The next most popular spot, Baltimore, held 10.
  2. Chicago voters last elected a Republican mayor in 1927.
  3. In 1933, Mayor Anton Cermak was shot and killed in a failed assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt while the two were meeting in Miami.
  4. Chicago was the nation’s second-largest city from 1890 to 1982. Its population peaked at 3.6 million in the 1950 census. As of 2017, Chicago had 2.7 million residents.
  5. Municipal election turnout was at a high of 82% in 1983 and a low of 33% in 2007.
  6. In 2018, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was responsible for a budget of $8.6 billion, comparable in size to the budget of Iowa.
 
For more political history on the city and the mayor’s office, including the evolution of the mayor’s powers, the prominence of the Democratic Party in the city, historical elections results, and voter turnout stats, click here.



About the author

Amee LaTour

Amee LaTour is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at amee.latour@ballotpedia.org

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