By Vince Gerasole

(CBS) — The mayor of Evanston is not seeking re-election, but a large field of candidates is hoping to take her place.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole introduces us to all five of them in advance of Tuesday’s election.

Seventy-three thousand people call Evanston home.

“Evanston has a unique identity,” candidate Gary Gaspard says.

Its voters tend to be progressive —

“Evanston is a delicate ecology,” candidate Jeff Smith says.

with significant diversity among its citizens —

“Our social ills can be solved primarily by jobs,” mayoral hopeful Mark Tendam says.

Its household incomes —

“I am concerned about high property taxes here in Evanston,” Stephen Hagerty says.

And its business districts.

“We have to make sure we’re investing in the people of Evanston and not just businesses,” candidate Brian Miller says.

Economic success has all five mayoral candidates worried about affordable housing, like attorney Smith.

“You don’t want to make it so expensive to live in — through what I call the soft bigotry of  unrestrained spending — that people are driven out,” he says.

Consultant Hagerty says housing impacts larger goals.

“If we don’t pay attention to that and making sure that housing is affordable to our seniors and to lower-income families here in town, we may find that we live in a different community,” he says.

The elderly and poor could be pushed out by progress, says Gaspard, a professor of social work.

“We need to have people of all economic backgrounds,” he says.

Keeping housing affordable goes hand in hand with keeping people employed, says Tendam, 6th Ward alderman.

“We can train people for jobs that are available in Evanston by reaching out to our hospitals and other institutions,” he says.

Keeping police accountability and violence in check are at the top of 9th Ward Ald. Miller’s agenda.

“My first priority is to devote more resources for gun violence prevention,” Miller says.

The winner must earn 51 percent of the vote. If no one breaks that threshold, a runoff election will be held in April.

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