Ald. Stone In Runoff For Second Time

CHICAGO (CBS) — For the second consecutive time, Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) has been forced into a runoff with a challenger.

On April 5, Stone will take on second-place finisher Debra Silverstein, a certified public accountant and the wife of state Sen. and ward Democratic Committeeman Ira Silverstein.

With all but one precinct reporting, Stone won 37 percent of the vote, or 4,143 votes, compared with 34 percent, or 3,763, for Silverstein. The third finisher, architect Greg Brewer, won 19 percent, or 2,095 votes.

Stone, 83, is the oldest serving alderman, and the second longest-serving, having taken office in 1973 when Richard J. Daley was still mayor. He represents the West Rogers Park neighborhood.

Stone seemed confident that he would prevail in April.

“I had a runoff the first time I ran too, and I won both of them, and I intend to win this one too,” Stone said.

Silverstein was also feeling upbeat, with a short, six-week campaign ahead.

“I’m really confident that we’re going to be successful in April 5; no doubt in my mind,” she told CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli. “I think the people of the 50th Ward are ready for change, and I think this is the time when it’s going to happen.”

Stone was also forced into a runoff in 2007 by community and political activist Naisy Dolar. Stone said he was not concerned about the fact that he has been forced into a runoff again.

“Last time, I had less opponents too. You’ve got to take that into consideration,” he said.

Stone won a special election for the 50th Ward seat in 1973, after Ald. Jack Sperling was appointed to a Cook County Circuit Court judgeship.

In 1987, he switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party and ran unsuccessfully for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds on a ticket with notorious former Ald. Edward Vrdolyak for county Circuit Court Clerk. Stone lost to Carol Moseley Braun in the 1988 election.

Stone also sought the Republican slating for mayor in a 1989 special election, when Mayor Richard M. Daley first ran for the office successfully. But Vrdolyak ended up being the nominee. In 1990, Stone went back to being a Democrat.

Stone also gained notoriety in the 1993, when he had a 2 1/2-foot metal wall built in the median strip of Howard Street between Kedzie and Francisco avenues. The wall kept cars and pedestrians from crossing Howard Street from Chicago into Evanston or vice versa.

At the time, a major shopping center with a Jewel, Target and Best Buy was under construction on the Evanston side of Howard Street, and Stone said he was concerned about extra traffic on the Chicago side, according to the Chicago Reporter. But Evanston city officials were furious, and after a court battle, “Bernie’s Wall” wall came down in 1994.

Stone announced last September that he would run for an eleventh term. In his announcement, he accused Mayor Richard M. Daley of “abandoning ship” during a financial crisis by choosing not to run again, and that the new mayor would need veteran aldermen such as himself to “lean on and depend on for guidance.”

Stone said in September that he was not ready for retirement because he was still “full of pee and vinegar.”

  • Gee-reg

    Let it go Stone —— Let it go—- You will get your pension so go just go

  • Timberwolf104

    Aldderman Stone’s experience of municipal govt. and municipal finance is what Chicago needs, NOT a Rahm PUPPET!

  • concerned citizen

    Voters in the 50th Ward need to do the math. The 37.2% of the vote that Stone was able to muster up really means that 62.8% of the voters thought he is worthless. Open your eyes and realize that his razor slim lead of 3.4% will evaporate quickly even if we have another low voting turnout.

    Look closely and become conscious that during the interim, we do not have to accept the fact that dozens of illegally posted Stone campaign signs have been attached to public street lights, public property, abandoned buildings and businesses that have been forced to leave.

    If you are as disgusted about this then do something about it. Start calling 311 and have the Department of Streets and Sanitation remove every last one of those signs. Level the playing field.

    Shame on those that illegally posted campaign signs all over the ward.

    Shame on those that arranged for that to happen.

    Shame on those in the 50th that did not vote.

    It’s up to you to either accept another 4 years of this or take our best shot to End the Stone Age.

    Call 311. Remove the signs. Get out and Vote in the runoff.

  • GOP May Increase Numbers In City Council « CBS Chicago

    […] Longtime Democratic Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) became a Republican in 1987, and the encouragement of former alderman and power broker Ed Vrdolyak. He ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for the county Recorder of Deeds in 1987. […]

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