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IDOT Worker Picked To Replace Jackson As 7th Ward Alderman

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New 7th Ward Ald. Natashia Holmes. (CBS)

New 7th Ward Ald. Natashia Holmes. (CBS)

CHICAGO (CBS) — A former Illinois Department of Transportation manager has been chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to replace Ald. Sandi Jackson.

Natashia Holmes was one of dozens of candidates who applied to fill the job vacated when Jackson resigned last month.

However, perhaps the biggest qualification for the newly appointed 7th Ward alderman, is she’s never been involved in politics, CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports.

“Natasha represents a clear break with the past, and a new beginning,” said Emanuel.

Jackson resigned last month in the wake of the corruption probe that could send her husband, former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., sent to prison.

And Sandi Jackson’s predecessor, William Beavers, now a Cook County commissioner, is facing a federal trial on misuse of campaign funds.

“I think I can be the kind of alderman that brings people together and moves things forward,” Holmes said on Monday.

Holmes is a former IDOT manager who served on the local school council at Paideia Elementary. She is a graduate of Chicago-Kent School of Law.

“In Natashia Holmes, the 7th Ward will have an alderman who understand the community, knows how to engage the community, and knows how to have their voices heard in City Hall.”

And residents are anxious for new leadership.

“These were our role models, our hope for the future, and the whole crew has disappointed us as a people,” said Dianne Ousley.

Resident Spree Israel said, “I hope they got their mindset of what the people need, instead of their own agendas.”

Holmes was chosen by a five-member community panel appointed by the mayor. The panel screened 65 applicants for the position.

Emanuel said he plans to use the same process to fill any future aldermanic vacancies, because it give the community a voice in the process.