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But Who's Gonna Win???

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 14, 2007 2:50PM

2007_2_smith.jpgIf you're looking for a quick way to score an easy 20% on the AlderTrack Challenge, here's your crib sheet. Yesterday we told you about five of the ten aldermen who, through luck, the will of the community, or (more likely) legal wrangling, have the political good fortune of running unopposed. Today, let's take a look at the rest of the bunch.

Much has been written about how Alderman Mary Ann Smith skillfully removed her two challengers from the ballot in the 48th Ward. Chris Lawrence and Chris Persons planned their challenge to the incumbent over most of last summer, only to be disqualified later through a series of legal moves. Fed up with her unresponsiveness in the ward, and a general perception of arrogance, Persons has walked away with a hard lesson learned, but Lawrence isn't giving up just yet. He is fighting back and has asked a federal judge for a special election so he could have the opportunity to actively campaign against Smith. The Edgewater Community Council organizer served in Iraq as an Army civil affairs sergeant, charged with establishing democratic institutions there. He has vowed to do the same in the 48th Ward, given the chance.

In the 44th Ward, Chicago's first openly gay alderman and owner of Ann Sather's resturaunt Alderman Tom Tunney is finishing his first term unopposed. Having managed the Lakeview area and supported both progressive causes and candidates, it's no surprise that he isn't facing a challenger in this race.

In the 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor got a lucky break when the challenger he faced four years ago, Rafael Chagin, was dropped from the ballot. And in the 38th Ward is Alderman Tom Allen, one of the original three aldermen running unopposed from the beginning (this list also includes Manny Flores and Tom Tunney).

Finally, in Chicago's 33rd Ward, warhorse, power broker, and First Father-in-Law Alderman Dick Mell is running unopposed. Forty-two-year-old ward resident and real estate broker Raul Molina has been removed from the ballot, as has TJ Gunderson, both on simple technicalities. With little fanfare, this long-time fixture in city politics will stroll to re-election at the end of this month.