Michigan avenue flags on the DuSable bridge. (Canva)

Voters on Tuesday selected two candidates whose disagreements on the issues could not be sharper. There is potential for a battle of ideas over the next few weeks between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson that augurs well for a city that needs answers.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot had her ideas too. Plus a mayoral record to run on. But voters rejected her Tuesday, and as Johnson and Vallas launch into a campaign that concludes with the April 4 runoff, we would do well to learn a lesson from Lightfoot: Ideas are only the start. Just as important are the ability and temperament to govern.

The two finalists clearly are ready to play hardball, not beanbag, over the next four weeks. “We’re about to get real,” Johnson told jubilant supporters Tuesday night, as he launched into an indictment of Vallas’ track record. His opponent resumed campaigning Wednesday by responding in kind.

If that’s the way this contest plays out — and if Vallas and Johnson can stick to the issues — Chicago will be better for it.

Read more at chicagotribune.com

David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...