Fourteen City Council seats were up for grabs on Tuesday in races that will help determine how progressive the next council will be. The new alderpersons will be working with Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson to potentially advance or stall his priorities.
Here’s a look at each of the aldermanic races on the ballot Tuesday and some of the key issues in each ward.
Voters choose diversity for City Council, supporting Asian American women, electing record number of Latinos
Winner: Lamont Robinson
After Ald. Sophia King left her council seat to run for mayor, the ward’s aldermanic race narrowed to state Rep. Lamont Robinson and Prentice Butler, King’s chief of staff. The ward includes parts of the South Loop, Bronzeville and Kenwood. Robinson’s and Butler’s campaigns emphasized their experience in government, with Robinson focusing on his connections at the state level and Butler on his community engagement.
Winner: Desmon Yancy
Desmon Yancy and Martina “Tina” Hone faced off to represent the 5th Ward, where the Obama Presidential Center is among the most prominent issues. The ward covers parts of Hyde Park, South Shore, West Woodlawn and Greater Grand Crossing, and some are concerned the presidential center would push residents and small businesses out of these neighborhoods.
Winner: William Hall
Ministers William Hall and Richard Wooten had similar stances on multiple issues, including economic development and mental health. The 6th Ward includes parts of the Chatham and Park Manor neighborhoods, and was represented by Roderick Sawyer before he stepped down last June to run for mayor.
Winner: Peter Chico
This 10th ward includes all or parts of the South Chicago, Hegewisch, South Deering and East Side neighborhoods near the border with Indiana. Public safety, youth services and economic development have been key issues for the Southeast Side ward. The candidates who made it to the runoff, labor organizer Ana Guajardo and Police Officer Peter Chico, both advocated for hiring more beat cops, as well as investment in the area’s public schools and youth programs.
Winner: Nicole Lee
Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed Nicole Lee alderman in March 2022 when former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson resigned after being convicted of tax fraud. The powerful Daley family is supporting Lee, whose father was a political aide for former Mayor Richard M. Daley. However, her opponent, Chicago Police instructor Anthony Ciaravino, also has connections to the Daleys. After last year’s redistricting, the 11th Ward now includes Bridgeport, Chinatown, Armour Square and parts of Canaryville and McKinley Park.
Winner: Ronnie Mosley
Community organizer Ronnie Mosley and retired firefighter Cornell Dantzler faced off in the runoff after Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. announced his retirement last year. The 21st Ward includes Auburn Gresham and parts of Chatham, Roseland and Washington Heights, where the candidates have emphasized economic opportunities for residents.
Winner: Monique Scott
Ald. Monique Scott and Creative Scott — who aren’t related — both say they support anti-violence programs for the 24th Ward, which comprises mostly the North and South Lawndale neighborhoods. Key to those programs are employment opportunities.
Ald. Chris Taliaferro is in a runoff against CB Johnson, the longtime leader of a nonprofit that helps people recovering from drug use. Taliaferro, who was just 25 votes short of avoiding a runoff, has led the ward since 2005. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the top issues in the ward, which include parts of the West and Northwest sides, are crime and drug use.
Winner: Ruth Cruz
Ald. Ariel Reboyras retired as the leader of the ward after 20 years, setting up a runoff between Jessica Gutiérrez and Ruth Cruz. Gutiérrez, the daughter of ex-U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, is the former policy director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Cruz is an assistant director of admissions at Roosevelt University. Both candidates have focused on public safety in the Northwest Side ward.
Winner: Gilbert Villegas
Lori Torres Whitt challenged incumbent Ald. Gilbert “Gil” Villegas, who won a third term. Whitt is on the executive board of the Chicago Teachers Union and has experience as an educator, community organizer and labor advocate. The eight-mile ward was redrawn to include parts of West Town, Humboldt Park, Belmont Cragin and Montclare. That odd drawing has been called a “pool noodle” shape and both candidates said they disagree with it.
Winner: Timmy Knudsen
Ald. Timmy Knudsen was appointed to his seat about five months ago by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, but only received a quarter of votes in February. He is trying to defend his short record — particularly on public safety, a key issue in the ward — by positioning himself as a thinker on policing strategy. Challenger Brian Comer, president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association, says he has a plan to recruit and incentivize college students to join the Chicago Police Department. The ward includes the Lincoln Park, Old Town Triangle and Gold Coast neighborhoods.
Winner: James Gardiner
Embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner has fought his reputation for scandals in his campaign against his challenger, lawyer Megan Mathias. On top of past controversies, Mathias told the Sun-Times that residents don’t feel heard by Gardiner. Policing and public safety are the biggest issues in this ward that encompasses all or parts of the Old Irving Park, Portage Park, Jefferson Park, Gladstone Park, Edgebrook, Wildwood and Norwood Park neighborhoods.
Winner: Angela Clay
This contentious race saw housing organizer Angela Clay and Walgreens executive Kim Walz throwing attacks at each other. The Illinois State Board of Elections lifted campaign contribution limits for the runoff “because total expenditures in support of Walz and in opposition to Clay surpassed the $100,000 limit,” the Sun-Times reports. The Buena Park, Uptown and Lake View East neighborhoods make up the ward.
Winner: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth
Affordable housing developer Joe Dunne and small business owner Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth finished 500 votes apart in the February election. Dunne has the backing of labor unions and more established Democrats — including former 48th Ward Ald. Mary Ann Smith — while progressive organizations and mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson support Manaa-Hoppenworth. The ward includes Andersonville, Edgewater and the northern part of Uptown.
- With CTU help, Clay claims North Side’s 46th Ward seat, as Knudsen struggles to hold 43rd Ward appointment
Bianca Cseke is a digital producer at WBEZ. Follow her @biancacseke1.