West Side aldermen coast to majority victories

Sitting aldermen in 24th, 28th, 29th and 37th Wards won decisively on Feb. 26

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By Michael Romain


The Feb. 26 election may have been historic at the top of the ballot — with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and attorney Lori Lightfoot headed to an April 2 runoff that's almost certain to bring the city its first African American female mayor — but down ballot, at least on the West Side, it was more of the same. 

All of the incumbent aldermen representing the four wards within this newspaper's coverage area were spared from runoff races, some dominating their respective fields in a year when not one of their races went uncontested.  

In the 24th Ward, according to Chicago election data, Ald. Michael Scott captured 60 percent of the vote in a race that featured three challengers. Creative Scott (no relation) won 19 percent of the vote while Traci Treasure Johnson and Toriano A. Sazone took 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively. As of Feb. 27, one precinct was still outstanding. In addition, some mail-in ballots across the city have yet to be counted. 

In the 28th Ward, Ald. Jason Ervin, who faced three challengers who made the ballot and one write-in challenger, won 62 percent of the vote while Jasmine Jackson, Miguel Bautista and Beverly Miles garnered 15 percent, 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Justina Winfrey ran as a write-in.  

In the 29th Ward, with four precincts still unreported as of Feb. 27, Ald. Chris Taliaferro secured 59 percent of the vote while Dwayne Truss and Zerlina A. Smith garnered 27 percent and 14 percent, respectively.  

And in the 37th Ward, where one precinct still needed to be reported as of Feb. 27, Ald. Emma Mitts garnered 54 percent of the vote, barely over the 50.1 percent threshold required to stave off a runoff. Her challengers, Deondre Rutues and Tara Stamps, garnered 6 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Otis Percy ran as a write-in candidate. 

Meanwhile, West Side resident and state lawmaker Melissa Conyears-Ervin garnered 45 percent of the vote in her bid for City Treasurer while Peter Gariepy and Ameya Pawar secured 14 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Roughly 40 precincts were still outstanding as of Feb. 27. Conyears-Ervin, who is the wife of Ald. Ervin, appears headed to a run-off against Pawer on April 2.  

In the mayoral race, Lightfoot, the former president of the Chicago Police Board, emerged as the unlikely frontrunner in the mayoral race, taking 17 percent of the vote in a crowded14-person field. Preckwinkle garnered 16 percent of the vote. 

Both women beat out William M. Daley — the younger brother of Richard M. Daley, the city's longest-serving mayor, the son of Richard J. Daley, the city's second-longest serving mayor and the candidate most preferred by the city's business elite. 

The night was far less kind to the two West Side candidates in the race — Amara Enyia and state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford. Enyia garnered 8 percent of the vote while Ford picked up 1 percent. 

One referendum question was on the ballot in some precincts of the 24th, 28th and 29th Wards, with no precinct reporting less than 84 percent of the vote in favor of the following:

"In the event that the recreational use and sale of marijuana is legalized in the State of Illinois, should the City of Chicago appropriate tax or other revenues it receives from the sales of marijuana to fund neighborhood reinvestment in low income, disenfranchised communities hit hard by the war on drugs?"

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com 

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