The Chicago Sun-Times released its second round of aldermanic endorsements today, with the paper’s editorial board throwing its weight behind 29th Ward challenger Bob Galhotra and 37th Ward incumbent Ald. Emma Mitts.
The Sun-Times endorsement of Galhotra, in particular, adds a new dynamic in a race that seemed to be shaping up to be a fight between 29th Ward incumbent alderman Deborah Graham and her most aggressive challenger, Chris Taliaferro.
The paper’s endorsement of Mitts gives the incumbent a heavy counterweight to the long list of endorsements received by CTU-backed Tara Stamps, who has earned the support of many prominent progressive PACs and political parties.
Below are the explanations that the paper gave of each candidate endorsement (click on the candidate’s name to access the full list of Sun-Times endorsements handed out so far):
“The city’s remap gave Ald. Deborah Graham new swaths of unfamiliar territory, causing problems for her re-election bid. The Austin neighborhood remains in her ward but the new 29th runs farther north and west to cover a larger section of Galewood and parts of Montclare, Belmont heights and West Garfield Park. Seven candidates are opposing Graham, suggesting some dissatisfaction with her. We’re going with a new face, public defender Bob Galhotra, a long-time Galewood resident with a strong analytical mind and fresh ideas. Graham has been a solid and focused alderman, but we question her judgment in opting for another pawnshop in the ward and her support for a convenience store that sells liquor in an area were liquor wasn’t supposed to be allowed. Also, Graham’s not thinking about the larger city issues in the way Galhotra is. Galhotra knows the city’s pensions issues exceptionally well, and we hope as he learns more about the depths of the city’s financial problems he’ll come to see that reductions in pension benefits, along with new revenue, are inevitable. Among the other candidates, Chris Taliaferro also looks promising. But Galhotra, who defends clients in homicide cases and has a long history of volunteerism, is our pick.”
“In ordinary times, we might be tempted to endorse school teacher Tara Stamps, this year’s challenger to Ald. Emma Mitts. The incumbent alderman can boast achievements, such as bringing the city’s first Wal-Mart to her ward — she stood up to union pressure — but she’s a generally passive alderman, inclined to follow the leader. That said, these are not ordinary times. The most pressing issue of these city elections is the crisis of underfunded public pension systems, and we believe Mitts is far more likely than newcomer Stamps to support the distasteful medicine necessary — reduced pension benefits and higher taxes. That said, Stamps has high ideals and real fire and we predict Chicago will see more of her.”