CHICAGO (CBS) — While the majority of the aldermanic races were decided on Tuesday, votes are still being tallied in the 33rd ward on Chicago’s North Side.

That’s where incumbent Ald. Deb Mell is being challenged by political newcomer Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez. According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Sanchez has a 19 vote lead over Mell.

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During the February election, Sanchez received 42 percent of the vote with Mell garnering just over 41 percent of the vote. According to her online bio, Rodriguez lists herself as a “mother, youth educator and community activist.”

“We are feeling very confident,” said Mell on Tuesday night, adding that her campaign was counting on mail ballots to secure her victory.  “We knew this was going to be a tough race. It’s a hard, hard year for incumbents”



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It’s a seat that’s been held by either her or her father, since 1975.

Mell is the sister of Patti Blagojevich and daughter of Dick Mell, the alderman who wielded tremendous power from the mid 1970s until he resigned in 2013. That’s when she was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to to serve out the rest of her father’s term.

Before City Hall, Mell served in the Illinois House from 2009 until 2013. In the 2015 election, Mell defeated Tim Meegan.

The North Side neighborhoods in the 33rd ward include Albany Park, Avondale, Irving Park, Ravenswood Manor and North Park.

In other races still too close to call, incumbent Leslie Hairston leads activist William Calloway in the race for the 5th ward. And in Chicago’s 46th ward, incumbent James Cappleman leads his challenger Marianne Lalonde by 56 votes.

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According to Jim Allen of the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago, all the mail-in ballots need to counted 14 days after Election Day, which is April 16.