By William S. Bike
The April 4 runoff elections saw the 4th Ward elect a new alderman, and the 11th Ward retain its current City Council member.
In the 4th Ward, local State Representative Lamont Robinson defeated Prentice C. Butler, chief of staff to outgoing Alderwoman Sophia King.
Robinson scored 8,861 votes for 66.32%, while Butler tallied 4,499 for 33.68%.
The new 4th Ward alderman appreciated Gazette Chicago’s endorsement.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of community newspapers like Gazette Chicago,” Robinson said. “Their coverage of my work both as a State legislator and as an aldermanic candidate for the 4th Ward played a critical role in helping me connect with voters and convey my vision for the future of the 4th Ward. I am grateful for their unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity and dedication to serving the community. They are an essential part of our democracy.”
In the 11th Ward, incumbent Alderwoman Nicole Lee retained her seat with 8,045 votes for 62.64% over police officer Anthony “Tony” Ciaravino who tallied 4,799 votes for 37.36%. Gazette Chicago had endorsed Lee.
“I am so grateful to the voters of the 11th Ward for electing me to a full term on Chicago’s City Council,” Lee said. “It is an honor to be the first Chinese American elected and to represent the first Asian American majority ward, and I will fight every day to make our neighborhoods the best they can be for all our residents.
“I am honored by all of the support I received in my campaign, including from Gazette Chicago,” Lee added. “The Gazette is a trusted resource for so many of our residents, and I’m thankful they believed I am the right person to represent the 11th Ward.”
The organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago worked to make the April 4 election more accessible to Asian Americans than ever before. In the 11th Ward, a large number of bilingual election judges eased Chinese-speaking voters’ casting of ballots. “It felt really good to see voters engaged and getting the in-language assistance they need and deserve,” said volunteer poll watcher Valerie Chu.
In addition, the 34th Ward is new to the area, and Bill Conway was elected as its new City Council member on Feb. 28.
“I am thrilled to serve as alderman of the new 34th Ward, which includes the Loop, West Loop, South Loop, Greektown, and Little Italy,” Conway said. “I can’t wait to hit the ground running, though the truth is we’ve never stopped since the beginning of our campaign.”
Gazette Chicago endorsed Conway in the Feb. 28 election.
“The support of Gazette Chicago and the community means a lot to me, and I won’t forget it,” Conway said. “Throughout the campaign, everyone we met wanted a safer and stronger Chicago, and I will bring those conversations with me to City Council every day. I am humbled by your trust, and I’m going to work tirelessly to make you proud.”
Local Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson pulled off an upset of former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in the April 4 runoff for mayor, tallying 319,481 votes for 52.16% compared to Vallas’s 293,033 for 47.84%.
Alderman Jason Ervin (28th Ward) told Gazette Chicago, “I was proud to endorse Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson and will be supportive of his agenda. I’m looking forward to working with him and excited for a strong start to his administration.”
Some local wards went for Johnson, and some for Vallas.
In the Johnson camp was the 3rd Ward, with 8,174 votes and 62.50% for Johnson and 4,905 and 37.50% for Vallas; the 4th Ward, with 9,935 votes and 72.31% for Johnson and 3,805 and 27.69% for Vallas; the 25th Ward with 5,168 for 62.09% for Johnson against 3,155 and 37.91% for Vallas; the 27th Ward with 6,800 for 59.32% for Johnson versus 4,663 and 40.68% for Vallas; and the 28th Ward with 5,494 and 74.74% for Johnson against 1,857 and 25.26% for Vallas.
Vallas took the 11th Ward with 9,414 votes and 73.79% to 3,347 for 26.21% for Johnson; the 12th Ward with 3,478 votes and 58.55% to 2,462 and 41.45% for Johnson; the 34th Ward with 6,189 votes and 58.36% versus 4,415 and 41.64% for Johnson; and the 42nd Ward with 10,010 for 74.25% against Johnson’s 3,472 for 25.75%
Gazette Chicago had endorsed Vallas.