Ald. Ed Burke on Monday said “of course” he will continue his run for a new term representing the Southwest Side ward where he has held sway for five decades, despite last week’s federal raids on his government offices.
Appearing at a senior citizen Christmas luncheon in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, Burke declined to say whether he has talked with federal agents about why they took computers and boxes of documents out of his City Hall and ward offices in dramatic raids Thursday. “You’d have to ask them,” he said.
But Burke was unequivocal about his re-election plans. “My (ballot) petitions are on file,” Burke said when asked whether his appearance to shake hands with about 75 seniors means he remains committed to vying for a 13th full term representing the 14th Ward in spite of the federal cloud dogging him. “Of course,” he said when asked whether he plans to see the election through, and not drop out.
Burke has faced federal scrutiny off and on for years. After the raids he released a statement saying he would cooperate with the investigation, but adding, “I am completely confident that at the end of the day nothing will be found amiss in this instance either.”
And on Monday he seemed at ease working the crowd of seniors.
But even before the raids, Burke already was facing perhaps his toughest election fight in decades. U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has targeted Burke for removal from his powerful post representing the ward, which is now majority Latino. Four people have signed up to run against him, including three young Hispanics with ties to Garcia.
Garcia backed Aaron Ortiz, who unseated Burke’s brother, Dan Burke, in the Democratic primary for state representative for the area.
Candidates in the February city elections have until Dec. 20 to drop out in time to have their names kept off ballots.
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December 3, 2018 at 03:33PM