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Rhymefest Won't Demand Recount in 20th Ward Runoff

By Kim Bellware in News on Apr 8, 2011 6:40PM

More proof that there's never a dull moment in Chicago politics (even if turnout is disappointingly low): 20th Ward aldermanic candidate Che ''Rhymefest'' Smith announced via Twitter this morning that he would not be seeking a recount in Tuesday's runoff election between him and Ald. Willie Cochran.

"Ive [sic] decided not to move foward [sic] with a recount, but next week I will release our documentation of all the irregularities that took place."

Despite Cochran having 53 percent of the votes with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Smith had refused to concede the race as of Wednesday, citing voter fraud and irregularities. Smith and his attorney had met with election officials Tuesday night and had requested to see more voter data before challenging the results in court.

Ald. Cochran, originally elected in 2007, ran as the incumbent and received endorsements from incoming Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza as well as Mayor-elect Emanuel. This April's runoff election was the first for Smith, a Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist, who received endorsements from the Service Employees International Union and the Chicago Teachers Union.