Four Incumbent Aldermen Fall In Runoffs
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Updated 04/06/11 – 5:38 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Four incumbent Chicago aldermen have lost their bids for another term, or were trailing late in the polls on Tuesday, including Bernie Stone (50th), the council’s oldest member.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, challenger Debra Silverstein was leading Stone 62 percent to 38 percent.
Silverstein, the wife of State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), had won the endorsement of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.
“I jumped into this race basically because of you, the people – because I heard your frustration and I heard your despair and I heard your need for change in the 50th Ward,” Silverstein said to her supporters Tuesday night.
Stone conceded Tuesday night, saying “It’s been a good run.” Stone has been on the City Council since 1973.
But he wasn’t exactly gracious to Silverstein and her supporters as he admitted defeat.
“I feel sorry for them,” Stone said. “I don’t think she’ll be a good servant.”
Stone has accused Silverstein of being a puppet for Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, but Silverstein has said she will vote her own mind.
“I think (Stone) should wait and see what happens – because I think there’s going to be some good things coming around here for the 50th Ward,” she said.
An even bigger surprise took place in Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s home ward, the 36th Ward, where incumbent John Rice lost his bid for re-election to challenger Nicholas Sposato. Sposato, a Chicago firefighter, was leading 56 percent to 44 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
“People are just tired and fed up with machine-type politics,” Sposato said. “They want open and honest government, and that’s what I represent.”
Rice, who had the backing of Emanuel and the Democratic machine, was appointed to the seat in 2009 after his boss, former Ald. William J.P. Banks, retired following 26 years on the City Council.
Rice had been Banks’ driver and a top aide since 2005.
In the 24th Ward, former Ald. Michael Chandler easily won a bid to unseat freshman Ald. Sharon Dixon, who defeated him four years ago. Chandler took 60 percent of the vote, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
And in the 6th Ward, incumbent Ald. Freddrenna Lyle appeared to fall to challenger Roderick Sawyer – the son of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer – by little more than 100 votes. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Roderick Sawyer had 5,080 votes and Lyle had 4,956. Absentee ballots have yet to be counted, so that result is not a given.
With those four incumbents losing their bids for re-election, plus four open seats on Tuesday and five new aldermen winning election outright in the February election, the City Council apparently will have 13 new faces when aldermen are sworn in next month.
10 Other Races On The Chicago Ballot
In another prominent race, 20th Ward incumbent Willie Cochran was leading challenger and rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith, by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
The ward includes parts of the Woodlawn, Washington Park, Grand Crossing, Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.
In the 25th Ward, Ald. Danny Solis, president pro tempore of the City Council, defeated challenger Cuahutemoc Morfin, leading voting 54 percent to 46 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Rookie Ald. Timothy Cullerton (38th), who was appointed to the seat after his predecessor, Tom Allen, became a Cook County judge, held a commanding lead over challenger Tom Cavarette. Cullerton had 60 percent of the vote to 40 percent for Cavarette, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
The Cullerton family has been associated with the ward for some 140 years. The first Cullerton began was elected in 1871, the same year as the Great Chicago Fire, when the area was still part of suburban Jefferson Township.
In the Englewood neighborhood, the race for 16th Ward alderman drew some last-minute notoriety when challenger Hal Baskin was arrested at a polling place Tuesday afternoon.
Baskin allegedly poked a police officer in the chest after officers responded to a 911 call about an apparent shouting match between Baskin and a poll worker. Baskin was charged with assault and disregarding an election judge, both misdemeanors.
Baskin was running against incumbent JoAnn Thompson, to whom he lost 56 percent to 54 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. He conceded after being released from the Englewood District police lockup Tuesday night.
In the 17th Ward, incumbent Ald. Latasha Thomas was leading challenger David Moore 53 percent to 47 percent, with 98 percent of the vote counted. Thomas is the political protege of former 17th Ward Alderman Terry Peterson, who has held several key positions in the Daley administration and is currently chair of the CTA board.
Another incumbent, Ald. Toni Foukes sailed to an easy victory in the 15th Ward, leading challenger Raymond Lopez 69 percent to 31 percent with 100 percent of the vote counted.
There were also open races in four other wards where the incumbent is retiring.
In the 41st Ward, where the City Council’s lone Republican, Brian Doherty, recently lost a bid for the state legislature, the ward’s Democratic Committeeman, Mary O’Connor, won narrowly over Doherty aide Maurita Gavin, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
In the 45th Ward where incumbent Pat Levar is retiring, the race came down to 29 votes when all precincts were counted, and the candidate who came up short is demanding a recount.
Unions have thrown a lot of support behind graphic artist John Arena, who is running against police Lt. John Garrido, a former GOP candidate for Cook County board president.
With all precincts reporting early Wednesday, Garrido had 6,024 votes, while Arena had 6,053.
In the 43rd Ward, where Vi Daley is retiring, Democratic Committeeman Michele Smith is battling hospital administrator Tim Egan. Smith held a narrow margin over Egan, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 98 percent of the vote counted.
Finally, in the 46th Ward, where longtime Ald. Helen Shiller is retiring, social worker James Cappelman headed to victory over real estate and tax attorney Molly Phelan. With 100 percent of the vote in, Cappelman beat Phelan 55 percent to 45 percent.