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Runoff Fever in City Council: 47th Ward Makes History

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 23, 2011 3:30PM

Image Credit: Jane Rickard, Welles Park Bulldog
The mayoral race isn't heading to a runoff, but for voters in Wards 6, 15, 16, 17, 20, 24, 25, 38, 41, 43, 45, 46 and 50 the races aren't over. Those races are headed for runoffs; as many as 9 incumbents could lose their seats on April 5.

Leading the list of notable aldermen heading for a runoff is 50th Ward Alderman Bernie Stone, who also was forced into a runoff in 2007. Stone, who only won 37 percent of the vote in his ward, will face Debra Silverstein. If the 83-year-old Stone loses his runoff, taxpayers will find out shortly after if it might have been cheaper to re-elect him, as he once famously crowed. Other incumbents facing runoffs include Danny Solis in the 25th, Toni Foulkes and 20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochran, who heads into his runoff against Che "Rhymefest" Smith.

The biggest upset of the ward elections last night was in the 47th, where Ameya Pawar defeated Tom O'Donnell. O'Donnell was the anointed successor to Eugene Schulter in the 47th, who pulled out of the race with an eye towards being appointed to the Cook County Board of review seat vacated when Joe Berrios was elected Assessor. Circuit Court Chief Judge Tim Evans filled the vacancy with attorney Michael M. Cabonargi, making Schulter one of the last night's biggest losers.

Pawar, who didn't schedule a post-election party last night, becomes the first alderman of Asian descent in the city's history.