Brandon Johnson will be the next mayor of Chicago, NBC News projected Tuesday, marking a stunning turn for a staunch progressive and former teacher whose campaign leaned into messages of racial and economic disparities and who overcame blowback over past comments about decreasing police funding.

Johnson defeated the well-financed, tough-on-crime moderate Paul Vallas, a former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools who promised to immediately bulk up the Chicago police ranks to curb a crisis of gun violence.  

Vallas told his supporters Tuesday night that he called Johnson and “told him I absolutely expect him to be the next mayor.”

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