West Side Aldermanic Races

February 22, 2011

Produced by Associated Press and City Room

(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
Cuahutémoc Morfín, who will advance to a 25th Ward runoff, celebrates in the city's Pilsen neighborhood.
(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
Cuahutémoc Morfín, who will advance to a 25th Ward runoff, celebrates in the city's Pilsen neighborhood.
(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
Ald. Danny Solís (25th), just short of a first-round victory, gathers with supporters in Pilsen.
(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois), left, consoles Ald. Danny Solís (25th) about the first-round results.

Updated At: 10:40 p.m.  New numbers from West Side wards, where runoffs seem likely in the 24th, 25th, 36th and 38th wards.

Alderman Ward 12

24 of 24 precincts - 100 percent

George Cardenas, (i) 2,680 - 55 percent

Jose Guereca, 911 - 19 percent

Jesse Iñiguez, 796 - 16 percent

Alberto Bocanegra, 321 - 7 percent

Maria Ortiz, 137 - 3 percent


Alderman Ward 21

70 of 74 precincts - 95 percent

Howard Brookins, (i) 8,004 - 56 percent

Sheldon Sherman, 2,797 - 19 percent

Patricia Foster, 1,706 - 12 percent

Sylvia Jones, 1,537 - 11 percent

Jerome Maddox, 309 - 2 percent

Alderman Ward 22

29 of 29 precincts - 100 percent

Ricardo Munoz, (i) 2,793 - 65 percent

Neftalie Gonzalez, 1,536 - 35 percent

Alderman Ward 23

54 of 54 precincts - 100 percent

Michael Zalewski, (i) 8,581 - 53 percent

Anna Goral, 5,511 - 34 percent

Chuck Maida, 2,231 - 14 percent

Alderman Ward 24

56 of 56 precincts - 100 percent

Sharon Dixon, (i) 1,783 - 20 percent

Michael Chandler, 1,197 - 13 percent

Vetress Boyce, 841 - 9 percent

Valerie Leonard, 697 - 8 percent

Shavonda Fields, 606 - 7 percent

Chauncey Stroud, 605 - 7 percent

Julius Anderson, 482 - 5 percent

Wallace Johnson, 477 - 5 percent

Wilbert Cook, 459 - 5 percent

Sondra Spellman, 435 - 5 percent

Melissa Williams, 369 - 4 percent

Frank Bass, 346 - 4 percent

Regina Lewis, 309 - 3 percent

Jeffery Turner, 203 - 2 percent

Donielle Lawson, 137 - 1 percent

Larry Nelson, 113 - 1 percent

Mark Carter, 44 - 0 percent

Jimmy Lee Lard, 37 - 0 percent

Alderman Ward 25

31 of 31 precincts - 100 percent

Danny Solis, (i) 4,291 - 49 percent

Cuahutemoc Morfin, 2,451 - 28 percent

Ambrosio Medrano, 2,025 - 23 percent

Alderman Ward 26

61 of 63 precincts - 97 percent

Roberto Maldonado, (i) 5,885 - 82 percent

Devon Reid, 1,263 - 18 percent


Alderman Ward 27

59 of 59 precincts - 100 percent

Walter Burnett, (i) 6,606 - 71 percent

Tom Courtney, 2,056 - 22 percent

Gevonna Fassett, 655 - 7 percent


Alderman Ward 28

60 of 61 precincts - 98 percent

Jason Ervin, (i) 5,557 - 85 percent

William Siegmund, 1,007 - 15 percent

Alderman Ward 29

44 of 49 precincts - 90 percent

Deborah Graham, (i) 4,884 - 52 percent

Thomas Simmons, 1,147 - 12 percent

C B Johnson, 1,075 - 11 percent

Mary Russell Gardner, 899 - 10 percent

Jill Bush, 636 - 7 percent

Beverly Rogers, 299 - 3 percent

Roman Morrow, 279 - 3 percent

Oddis Johnson, 168 - 2 percent

Alderman Ward 30

40 of 41 precincts - 98 percent

Ariel Reboyras, (i) 4,506 - 75 percent

Stella Nicpon, 595 - 10 percent

Chester Hornowski, 526 - 9 percent

Doug Cannon, 368 - 6 percent

Alderman Ward 32

52 of 52 precincts - 100 percent

Scott Waguespack, (i) 8,704 - 66 percent

David Pavlik, 2,290 - 17 percent

Bryan Lynch, 1,465 - 11 percent

Brian Gorman, 770 - 6 percent

Alderman Ward 34

61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent

Carrie Austin, (i) 9,170 - 65 percent

Henry Moses, 2,123 - 15 percent

Shirley White, 1,533 - 11 percent

Burl McQueen, 659 - 5 percent

Michael Mayden, 618 - 4 percent


Alderman Ward 35

36 of 36 precincts - 100 percent

Rey Colon, (i) 4,451 - 51 percent

Miguel Sotomayor, 2,174 - 25 percent

Nancy Schiavone, 2,117 - 24 percent

Alderman Ward 36

55 of 55 precincts - 100 percent

John Rice, (i) 6,709 - 48 percent

Nicholas Sposato, 3,346 - 24 percent

Jodi Biancalana, 1,964 - 14 percent

Brian Murphy, 656 - 5 percent

Thomas Motzny, 650 - 5 percent

Bruce Randazzo, 628 - 5 percent

Alderman Ward 37

40 of 43 precincts - 93 percent

Emma Mitts, (i) 4,779 - 58 percent

Maretta Brown-Miller, 1,982 - 24 percent

Shanika Finley, 390 - 5 percent

Minerva Orozco, 389 - 5 percent

Steven Pleasant, 332 - 4 percent

Tommy Abina, 328 - 4 percent

Alderman Ward 38

53 of 53 precincts - 100 percent

Timothy Cullerton, (i) 5,795 - 48 percent

Tom Caravette, 2,699 - 22 percent

Bart Goldberg, 945 - 8 percent

Carmen Hernandez, 723 - 6 percent

Mahmoud Bambouyani, 704 - 6 percent

Sheryl Morabito, 672 - 6 percent

John Videckis, 402 - 3 percent

Ed Quartullo, 237 - 2 percent

Alderman Ward 39

47 of 47 precincts - 100 percent

Margaret Laurino, (i) 7,735 - 76 percent

Mary Hunter, 2,392 - 24 percent

Updated At 9:38 p.m. Incumbent 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis will likely face a runoff to defend his seat.  He won 49% of the vote with all precincts reporting.

Updated At: 8:55 p.m.  Incumbent 24th Ward Ald. Sharon Dixon is leading a tight race that is headed towards a runoff. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Dixon has a slight edge over her closest competitor Michael Chandler.

Here's a look at some of the races WBEZ is focusing on:

12th Ward
Ald. George Cárdenas’ campaign staffers predicted a victory without a runoff, but the two-term incumbent looked nervous. During this month’s blizzard cleanup, Cárdenas spent thousands of campaign dollars to bring in snow plows. He festooned them with reelection placards.
This Southwest Side ward, mostly Latino, covers parts of Brighton Park, McKinley Park, Back of the Yards and Little Village. It’s struggling with overcrowded housing, foreclosure filings, struggling schools and rising crime.
Cárdenas won his first aldermanic election in 2003 with help from the Hispanic Democratic Organization, a roving campaign army that eventually dissolved amid a federal probe into patronage hiring by Mayor Daley’s administration. Cárdenas won his 2007 reelection handily.
But this year’s race was tougher. The strongest of four challengers appeared to be Streets and Sanitation worker José Guereca, a former Army soldier who received tens of thousands of campaign dollars from State Sen. Tony Muñoz, the ward’s Democratic boss. Muñoz, a former Cárdenas ally, was a fellow HDO beneficiary. Guereca also got support from Teamsters Local 700 and the Chicago Firefighters Union.
Another tough challenger was coffee-shop owner Jesús “Jesse” Iñiguez, head of the United Southwest Chamber of Commerce who ran poorly against Cárdenas four years ago. This time he got help from Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd Ward) and County Board Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García (7th District), making the race a skirmish in a decades-old war between Southwest Side progressives and regular Democrats. Other important support came from the Service Employees International Union. Iñiguez campaign staffers predicted they would advance to the runoff as Cárdenas and Guereca competed for the same machine voters.
But Iñiguez himself lost some votes to the Green Party’s Alberto Bocanegra Jr., who raised a lot of money for the race. Bocanegra had backing from water district commissioner Frank Avila and immigrant rights organizer Jorge Mújica.
Also on the ballot was María “Chula” Ortiz, a suburban bus employee with little money or visibility.
24th Ward
Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon struggled to build a strong political organization after narrowly winning her seat in a 2007 runoff. When Chicago police officers arrested her on drunken-driving charges in 2009, some residents of her ward smelled blood. Seventeen got on the ballot to challenge her, making the contest the most crowded of any Chicago ward race in two decades.
A judge determined the officers had no probable cause to arrest Dixon and, last month, she filed suit against three of the cops, saying they wrongly accused her. These developments didn’t seem to give her big boosts. The mostly African American ward, which includes North Lawndale and parts of other West Side neighborhoods, is struggling with poverty, abandoned lots, unemployment and low high-school graduation rates.
Three challengers seemed to have the most support or credibility. One, Ald. Michael Chandler, lost his seat to Dixon despite support from Mayor Daley. In the rematch, Dixon said Chandler ran straw candidates to help force her into a runoff. Chandler denied that accusation. Another strong challenger appeared to be Melissa Williams, a real-estate attorney who has worked for neighborhood housing groups and ex-offenders. She had backing from State Sen. Rickey Hendon. The third was Valerie Leonard, who uses her finance background to help social-service agencies gather government funding. She founded Lawndale Alliance, a community group focused on affordable housing, community development and quality schools.
Several other candidates also seemed to have a decent shot: Wallace “Mickey” Johnson, a former NBA player and former Cook County sheriff’s deputy who has a West Side business; Wilbert Cook III, who heads a nonprofit that works to reintegrate ex-offenders into the job market; Chauncey Stroud, who once served as chief of staff for former Ald. Jesse Miller (24th); Donielle Lawson, a Cook County Jail teacher and union delegate; and Frank Bass, who lobbied in Springfield for John Stroger, the late Cook County Board president.
The weakest candidates seemed to be Martavius “Mark” Carter, Sondra “Sam” Spellman, Vetress Boyce, Julius Anderson, Shavonda Fields, Jimmy Lee Lard, Regina Lewis, Jeffery Turner and Larry Nelson.
25th Ward
Ald. Daniel “Danny” Solís has been Mayor’s Daley’s closest Latino ally on the City Council for years. In 2007, nevertheless, Solís barely avoided a runoff. This year the incumbent seemed to have an even tougher race.
Daley appointed Solís to the seat in 1996 to replace Ald. Ambrosio Medrano, who pleaded guilty in the Operation Silver Shovel scandal and served more than two years in federal prison. Solís was a player in the Hispanic Democratic Organization, Daley’s most powerful campaign army until federal authorities started looking into City Hall patronage hiring. Solís also co-founded the United Neighborhood Organization, a group that now runs charter schools.
Solís now chairs the council’s powerful Zoning Committee. In that post, he helped broker a deal last year that could lead to several new Walmart stores in Chicago.
Solís helped open gates to development and gentrification, which angered some residents of Pilsen, one of Chicago’s oldest Mexican neighborhoods. The ward also includes Tri-Taylor, Chinatown, and an area near the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Solís also took shots for withholding support for proposed city regulation of emissions from two coal-fired power plants, one of which stands in the ward.
One of his challengers was Ambrosio “Ambi” Medrano Jr., a city Department of Transportation worker and son of the former alderman who went to prison. Medrano had backing from organized labor. The other challenger was construction contractor Cuahutémoc “Temoc” Morfín, an immigrant rights activist who came within a dozen votes of forcing Solís into a runoff in 2007.

26th Ward

The 26th ward has one of the youngest candidates on the ballot. 18-year-old Devon Reid is a studying at Wright College to be a high school history teacher. He says his love of history leads naturally to a love of politics. He's going up against an experienced politician, Roberto Maldonado. Maldonado spent 15 years on the Cook County Board of Commissioners before being appointed 26th ward alderman by Mayor Richard Daley in 2009. This is Maldonado's first election for alderman but he's got $200,000 to spend on the race. Reid has raised about $3,000 in cash and in kind contributions. He says most of that has come from his foster family.

32nd Ward

Scott Waguespack was elected to the city council in 2007 and was considered part of a group of new independents who would question and challenge the policies of Mayor Richard Daley. There weren't that many challenges, but Waguespack is one of the aldermen who voted against the now largely reviled parking meter deal. Waguespack says that deal crystalized for voters all the ways city hall isn't working. He says aldermen have focused solely on their wards to the detriment of the citywide issues.

Waguespack is facing a challenge from David Pavlik who currently works in the governor's office of management and the budget. Pavlik is getting support from 33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell. That's a little awkward because Mell sits next to Waguespack in the city council. Mell says he likes Waguespack, whom he refers to as a "young man," but Pavlik's mother used to work for Mell so Mell gave her the okay to siphon off any of his political workers who wanted to help her out. Mell's seat is safe because he has no challenger. Mell says he's also dispatched workers to the 41st and 43rd wards, and he's supporting Rey Colon in the 35th. In addition to Pavlik, Waguespack is also trying to fend off challenges from Brian Gorman and Bryan Lynch.

Chip Mitchell and Robert Wildeboer contributed to this report.