CBS 2 Chicago wbbm7801059 670 The Score

Local

Cochran To Face Rapper Rhymefest In 20th Ward

Willie Cochran, Che "Rhymefest" Smith

Ald. Willie Cochran (left) will face Che “Rhymefest” Smith in the 20th Ward runoff race. (Credit: CBS/AP)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

CHICAGO (CBS) – Incumbent Willie Cochran will face a Grammy Award-winning rapper in a runoff election April 5 in the South Side’s 20th Ward.

Cochran, a retired Chicago Police sergeant, will face Che “Rhymefest” Smith in the runoff election.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran led the field of five candidates with 46 percent of the vote, or 3,403 votes, while Smith was running second at 20 percent, with 1,469 votes. Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times endorsed attorney George Davis, who finished in third place with 16 percent, or 1,201 votes.

Cochran was elected to the seat in 2007, defeating incumbent Arenda Troutman. At the time, Troutman was plagued by a criminal investigation involving kickbacks from developers in exchange for zoning favors, and was also accused of having gang ties.

Troutman was sentenced to four years in prison in 2009 after pleading guilty to mail fraud and tax fraud.

Speaking to the Chicago News Cooperative in October, Cochran was dismissive of Smith. He told the News Cooperative the voting public would prove to have “changed a lot” if they wanted to “replace an educated public administrator with a rapper who refers to women as hos and bitches in his videos.”

Smith told the Web site Chicago News Report in October that he would engage to bring rappers Common and Kanye West in business ventures to improve the neighborhoods in the ward.

The ward includes parts of the Woodlawn, Washington Park, Grand Crossing, Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.