Moving Chicago Forward
By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 28, 2007 2:50PM
Well, another municipal election has come in Chicago, and in many wards (but not all) it's gone. As expected, Richard M. Daley sailed to re-election, set to eclipse his father as the Chicago's longest-serving mayor, in spite of Ben Joravsky's best efforts.
At the time of this writing, a few things are clear: there will be a few runoffs this year, including Madeline Haithcock - Bob Fioretti (2nd), Dorothy Tillman - Pat Dowell (3rd), Shirley Coleman - Joann Thompson (16th), and Michael Chandler - Sharon Denise Dixon (24th). And Ted Matlak - Scott Waguespack (32nd), appear headed into a runoff; other possible runoffs include Lona Lane - Paul Stewart (18th), Howard Brooking - Leroy Jones (21st), Vilma Colom - Rey Colon (35th), and Vi Daley - Michele Smith (43rd). Joe Moore is on the brink against Don Gordon (49th) as well.
Overall it was a huge night for the local labor movement, with most of the runoffs forced by a candidate backed by the unions. Having a presence of pro-union people in the city council this term has the potential to keep Daley on his toes, and certainly sends the message that you can't fuck with workers in this town if you want to stay in power.
As far the winners go, there were some shake ups on the council. In the 7th Ward Sandi Jackson is set to take Darcel Beavers's seat in the city council. This race was a fun distraction for us, with two political powerhouse families duking it out, not just for an aldermanic seat, but for the potential to consolidate power in the city and county. It's too soon to declare Jackson's apparent victory a rejection of the neo Cook County Machine, but it certainly sets the stage for Jesse Jackson Jr. to challenge both Daley and Beavers, including a potential mayoral run next time around. The real question now is if people in that ward voted for Sandi, or her husband.
The other freak show of the night was Arenda Troutman's bizarre press conference, where she declared that she would challenge the results all the way to the top. If you watched it on TV, you got to see her basically accuse the press (among others) of conspiring against her. And in the 42nd Ward, Chicagoist whipping boy Burt Natarus has clearly lost to Brendan Reilly, but still doesn't have the guts to concede the race.
We were surprised to see the results in the 50th Ward. In spite of a convergence of resources and anger on the ground,
incumbent Bernie Stone seems to have pulled it out anyway, avoiding a runoff against Naisy Dolar UPDATE - after all the returns came in, Bernie Stone and Naisy Dolar will have a runoff. The other surprise for us was in the 25th Ward, where Danny Solis seems to have won re-election. This race, in particular, was rife with drama, including all the back-stabbing, political calculations, and even the involvement of the state supreme court.
We'll be following those developments in the next few days, and we'll keep posting on what is going on in the runoffs as well. We hope you'll stay involved as well. This election had one of the lowest voter turnouts in recent memory in the city, and the coming runoffs are too important to pass up.