CHICAGO (CBS) — While the mayoral race has dominated the headlines, voters a week from Tuesday will also be casting their ballots in several hotly-contested aldermanic races.
All 50 wards are up for election, but only 43 feature contests. Among those that are unopposed are Marty Quinn, who is set to replace the departing Ald. Frank Olivo (13th) in the Southwest Side ward where Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan resides. Quinn is a longtime Madigan campaign worker, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Also running unopposed are Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who has served in the City Council for 42 years; Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd).
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) is also running unopposed, with challenger David Winner off the ballot after briefly gaining attention as a crusader against Wal-Mart during a scare that the big-box retailer might move into the East Lakeview neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the major newspapers and other organizations have issued endorsements in the contested races
The Chicago Tribune released endorsements for the aldermanic races this week, following endorsements from the Chicago Sun-Times and several other organizations. Among the highlights:
In the Near South and West sides’ 2nd Ward, visible alderman and onetime rumored mayoral candidate Robert Fioretti lost the endorsement of both papers, who instead went with attorney and former Chicago Public Schools senior staffer Genita C. Robinson.
Both papers endorsed state Rep. Will Burns in the South Side’s 4th Ward, as a permanent replacement for Toni Preckwinkle, who left the City Council after she was elected Cook County Board president. The interim alderman, Shirley Newsome, is not running for a full term.
The papers disagreed on the 6th Ward, which includes the parts of the Englewood, Chatham and Park Manor neighborhoods and has been dealing with a spike in crime. The Sun-Times backed incumbent Freddrenna Lyle, while the Tribune went with former Cook County prosecutor Cassandra Goodrum-Burton.
In the 8th Ward, while the Sun-Times endorsed incumbent Michelle Harris, the Tribune criticized her as a product of the Stroger political organization and instead backed real estate agent Faheem Shabazz. The ward includes the Avalon Park neighborhood and much of the Chatham neighborhood.
The Sun-Times endorsed incumbent John Pope in the 10th Ward on the Far Southeast Side, while the Tribune backed Metropolitan Water Reclamation District compliance officer Richard L. Martinez Jr.
Both newspapers endorsed café owner and United Southwest Chamber of Commerce director Jesus “Jesse” Iniguez over incumbent Ald. George Cardenas in the Southwest Side’s 12th Ward. The Tribune reported that Cardenas put his father on the payroll and rented his ward office in a building owned by relatives.
The Sun-Times endorsed incumbent Toni Foulkes in Southwest Side’s the 15th Ward, but the Tribune backed a challenger, attorney Felicia Simmons-Stovall.
Both papers also endorsed patent attorney Chuks Onyezia over incumbent Lona Lane and three other candidates in the 18th Ward on the Far Southwest Side.
In the 19th Ward, which includes the Beverly and Mount Greenwood neighborhoods on the Far South Side, the Sun-Times endorsed Democratic ward committeeman Matthew O’Shea, who is running to replace retiring Ald. Virginia Rugai after working as her aide. The newspaper credits him with “fresh ideas to fix Chicago’s budget mess, which can’t be said for even most sitting aldermen,” particularly regarding pension payments.
But the Tribune went with obstetrician-gynecologist Anne Schaible, who is campaigning on luring new business to 95th and 111th streets, and making her ward office transparent.
Despite a well-publicized challenge from hip-hop artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith in the 20th Ward, neither newspaper endorsed him. Instead, both papers also eschewed incumbent Ald. Willie Cochran in favor of attorney George E. Davis. The South Side ward includes the Woodlawn neighborhood.
In the West Side’s 24th Ward, Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon has found herself as one of 18 candidates, and neither paper endorsed her for reelection. The Sun-Times backed attorney Melissa Williams, while the Tribune went with community development consultant Valerie Leonard.
Devon Reid, an 18-year-old freshman at Wright College, gained some attention for his run to challenge Ald. Roberto Maldonado in Humboldt Park’s 26th Ward. But both papers went with the veteran Maldonado, who represented the area on the Cook County Board for many years before moving to the City Council.
Both newspapers endorsed Ald. Jason Ervin for the West Side’s 28th Ward. The former Maywood village manager replaced longtime veteran Ed Smith, who retired last year.
Both papers passed on Ald. John Rice, who was appointed to replace the retiring William J.P. Banks in the Northwest Side’s 36th Ward. They instead went with firefighter Nicholas Sposato.
In the Northwest Side’s 38th Ward, the Tribune endorsed recently-appointed Ald. Tim Cullerton, who was recently appointed to replace Ald. Tom Allen. But the Sun-Times backed real estate business owner Tom Caravette, whom they say “has been campaigning for the job longer than anyone else.”
The papers also disagreed in the Far Northwest Side’s 41st Ward, where Ald. Brian Doherty recently stepped down. The Sun-Times endorsed catering business owner Mary O’Connor, while the Tribune endorsed city Department of Housing and Economic Development urban planner Thomas Patrick Murphey.
Jim Mullen, a former Chicago Police officer who was shot and rendered a quadriplegic, is also running in for the 41st Ward seat and has won the endorsement of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. Mullen also served for several years as a disabilities reporter for CBS 2.
The 43rd Ward, which includes the Lincoln Park neighborhood, is up for grabs with incumbent Vi Daley leaving. The Tribune endorsed Tim Egan, the vice president of government affairs at Norwegian American Hospital, who has also won the backing of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The Sun-Times endorsed ward Democratic committeeman Michele Smith, a former federal prosecutor whom the newspaper says “risked the wrath of their own party” by backing independent Forrest Claypool over Democrat Joseph Berrios for Cook County Assessor last year.
In the 45th Ward, where Ald. Patrick Levar is leaving the Council, both newspapers endorsed John Arena, the former vice president of the Portage Park Neighborhood Association, whom the papers say had been active in working to improve the ward. Both papers also expressed admiration for Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido, an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Cook County Board president last year.
The Uptown neighborhood’s 46th Ward has proven a heated race, with Ald. Helen Shiller stepping down. But both newspapers agreed on corporate-finance attorney Emily Stewart, whom the papers point out seeks to keep affordable housing in the neighborhood, but wants landlords to crack down on tenants who break the law. The Tribune says she would be a “bright, young, fresh face for Chicago.”
There are 11 candidates running for the seat. The Sun-Times expressed admiration for another candidate, Don Nowotny. He won the endorsement of Gay Chicago Magazine for his l“encyclopedic familiarity with both the ward’s infrastructure and its residents” as a longtime Streets and Sanitation ward superintendent, and his knowledge of city government.
Ald. Gene Schulter recently announced he would not run for reelection in the 47th Ward. Passing over his endorsed candidate, Ravenswood Community Council president Tom O’Donnell, both papers endorsed Northwestern University Office of Emergency Management program assistant Ameya Pawar. The Tribune pointed out that Pewar has already created a “Chicago Works” iPhone app to report potholes or unplowed streets.
Both newspapers endorsed state Rep. Harry Osterman to replace retiring Ald. Mary Ann Smith in the 48th Ward. Osterman’s mother, Kathy Osterman, served as alderman of the ward before Smith.
In the West Rogers Park neighborhood’s 50th Ward, neither paper endorsed incumbent Bernie Stone, who decided to run for an 11th term last year at the age of 83. Stone said he was “full of pee and vinegar” and was not ready to retire, and said an experienced City Council would be needed for “a mayor learning on the job.”
But the Sun-Times said the ward’s commercial streets have declined, and said Stone’s office had grown unresponsive. The paper endorsed Debra Silverstein, the wife of state Sen. Ira Silverstein. The Tribune endorsed architect Greg Brewer.
The papers also endorsed incumbent “Proco” Joe Moreno (1st), Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hariston (5th), Sandi Jackson (7th), Anthony Beale (9th), James Balcer (11th), JoAnn Thompson (16th), Latasha Thomas (17th), Howard Brookins (21st), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Michael Zalewski (23rd), Danny Solis (25th), Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), Deborah Graham (29th), Ariel Reboyras (30th),Scott Waguespack (32nd), Carrie Austin (34th), Rey Colon (35th), Margaret Laurino (39th), and Joe Moore (49th).