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Lightfoot launches first TV ad

Chicago Mayor Laurie Lightfoot will launch her first television ads of the campaign season this week, one focusing on crime and another on the city’s recovery from the pandemic.

The campaign ads mark the first time Lightfoot has aired a television ad as she asks voters to give her a second term amid concerns about crime and criticism of her leadership style. Lightfoot faces an uphill battle for re-election in a field with several candidates, and the commercials reflect the arguments she will make in the coming months.

Crime is a top concern for voters in Chicago, where Lightfoot acknowledged people don’t feel safe after a spike in shootings and homicides. The mayor regularly claims that crime is improving, however, pointing out that shootings and homicides are down more than 10% in a year.

Still, shootings and homicides have increased significantly since she took office, and she has faced criticism from rivals who say her elected police chief, David Brown, isn’t doing a good job or criticize the city for spending too much. on police officers instead of investment more in the community.

In the ad, titled “Delivers Again,” Lightfoot features two men named Oscar and Felix, after the main characters in the 1968 film The Odd Couple, arguing about the issue and defending her record.

“Lightfoot delivers? What about crime?” Felix asks as the two play video games.

“People don’t know. It provides record spending to reduce violence, take guns off the streets and more money for the police,” Oscar replies. “You know we didn’t get into this mess right away.”

Oscar reminds Felix, “It takes time to get out of this, and Lightfoot has a plan. right?”

The camera zooms in on Lightfoot, who is on the phone nearby and says, “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” She then declines Oscar’s invitation to play video games, saying, “I’d love to, but I have things to do for our town.”

Eric Adelstein, the mayor’s media consultant who is a partner at Adelstein Liston Media, said the ad is intended to counter the narrative that there is “no plan” when it comes to crime.

“I think it’s an attempt to say we didn’t get into it right away and we’re not going to get out of it right away, but we have a plan and it’s (working),” Adelstein said.

Lightfoot’s other commercial, “Believe,” aims to project a more positive vision of the city. It opens with Lightfoot talking to the crowd during the 2019 race, then shows her shaking hands with a man in a wheelchair.

“Believe in us. Believe in this city. We’ve been through hell and back and we’re better for it,” Lightfoot says as the video cuts between photos of her shaking hands with people and talking to the camera. “Our economy is the best in the country. We are making significant progress in public safety and have implemented some of the most progressive policies that will make life better.”

The promo then shows her looking into the camera and declaring, “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we did everything perfectly. We don’t have any. But we did our best to make sure everything turned out right. And if we didn’t, you pick yourself up, listen, be humble and learn from your mistakes.”

The ending of the ad is reminiscent of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 ad, where he donned a furry sweater to tone down his combative image.

Lightfoot’s company did not say how big the ad buy is, but it is expected to be significant.

There are at least 10 candidates in the Feb. 28 election, including Lightfoot, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chewy” Garcia, Ald. Sophia King, Activist Ja’Mal Green, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, former Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Paul Wallace, State Rep. Cambium “Kam” Buckner, Ald. Raymond Lopez, business owner Willie Wilson and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. If no one gets at least 50% of the votes, the second round will take place on April 4.



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