Solis hangs on in 25th after power plant flip-flop

April 6, 2011

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(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
Ald. Danny Solis (25th) celebrates in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood late Tuesday.
(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
At his victory party, Solis vows to push the proposed Clean Power Ordinance.
(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
Cuahutémoc Morfin’s volunteers count votes at his headquarters Tuesday night.
(Photos for WBEZ by Charlie Billups)
Morfin says his campaign forced Solis to support the power-plant proposal.

Chicago Ald. Danny Solis hung on in his 25th Ward runoff Tuesday. But the defeated candidate says he too has reason to celebrate.

Solis did not support a proposal for the city to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants — he didn't, that is, until he fell short in the election’s first round and landed in the runoff.

Solis says he needed to get in tune with constituents upset about the Fisk Generating Station, a coal-fired plant in Pilsen, a largely Mexican neighborhood in the ward. The flip-flop seems to have sealed his reelection.

“I am committed to passing the Clean [Power] Ordinance in the city of Chicago,” Solis told his supporters Tuesday night after winning about 54 percent of the runoff vote.

The losing candidate, Cuahutémoc Morfin, took credit: “We made him come to the right side of the issue in the environmental issue, which is the coal plant here, which pollutes the air that we breathe.”

With Solis behind the power-plant proposal, it has a better chance of passing the City Council.