Suburban Elections Can Be Interesting!
Perhaps Chicagoist made a bit too much of a stink yesterday about how boring municipal primary elections can be, because Tuesday's voting brought out a stunner for the Village of Cicero that could be one of the most encouraging signs for American democracy yet: The crooked Town President Ramiro Gonzales lost to newcomer Larry Dominick.
The win was by only 157 votes out of 11,000 cast, and could portend a new era for the beleagured town. Controlled first by Al Capone, then by other mobsters, the city reins eventually fell into the hands of now-jailed Betty Loren-Maltese and former Chicago Alderman Ed Vrdolyak who squeezed every dime out of the town possible.
The outgoing town president, Gonzales, gained fame for becoming the nepotism king of the Chicago suburbs, when he appointed every family member he could find to town positions, for a total of at least $421,000 in annual salaries.
Gonzales seems like the real deal for this poor burg -- a bit of an electoral surprise. Last November the town managed to elect a ghost candidate, Democrat Michelle Chavez, who didn't campaign, barely spent any money, and never talked to state Democratic leaders as she ran for office. In contrast,
Ramiro Gonzales Larry Dominick has publically promised to clean house in Cicero and run a clean town.
We wish him luck.