Two incumbent Southwest Side City Council members took healthy leads in early voting results Tuesday night — including one who has distanced herself from indicted former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
The contests in the 13th, 14th and 23rd wards were framed by the aggressive work in recent years of the office of U.S. Attorney John Lausch, which secured expansive racketeering indictments against Madigan and Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th).
Ald. Silvana Tabares led Tuesday night in the 23rd Ward, Ald. Marty Quinn led in the 13th, and candidate Jeylú Gutiérrez was leading in the 14th. But the results were somewhat clouded by the large number of outstanding mail-in ballots.
In the 23rd Ward, Tabares faced a challenge from community organizer and small-business owner Eddie Guillen. Tabares had 72.11% of the vote with 90.91% of precincts counted.
Guillen is a former chief of staff for state Rep. Angie Guerrero-Cuellar, who was appointed by Madigan to replace him after he resigned from the General Assembly in 2021. Guillen did not respond to an interview request during the campaign.
Tabares was initially appointed to her City Council seat by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel when Ald. Mike Zalewski retired in 2018. Tabares was then a close Madigan ally.
But when Madigan gave up his seat in the Illinois House, Tabares called for a “transparent” process to replace him, and she didn’t vote for Madigan’s initial choice.
Tabares explained Tuesday that residents want an independent voice.
“They want somebody that’s going to stand up for police, standing up for public safety, and my opponent is not going to speak up,” Tabares said at a casual election-night party at Home Run Inn. “You know, he’s going to take his orders from his boss, Mike Madigan, and our ward can’t afford that.”
The neighboring 13th Ward has long been a Madigan stronghold. That’s where Quinn faced a challenge from Paul Bruton, a stay-at-home dad and former analyst at the Chicago Office of the Inspector General. Quinn had 87.78% of the vote with 90% of precincts counted.
Though Quinn acknowledged during the campaign that Madigan would drop in to the office space they share at 65th Avenue and Pulaski Road “from time to time,” Quinn insisted he was running his own campaign.
Meanwhile, Bruton said it was Madigan’s March 2022 indictment that prompted him to run.
Finally, in the nearby 14th Ward, Burke had a chance to run again after a federal judge scheduled his racketeering trial for November. Burke ultimately chose not to seek what would have been another record-setting 15th term.
That set up Tuesday’s race between Gutiérrez — who put her name in the ring even before Burke opted out of the contest — and Raul Reyes.
Gutiérrez had 63.93% of the vote with 86.67% of precincts counted.
Gutiérrez is district director for Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya, and Reyes is a City Clerk’s office employee who once worked for Burke’s brother, former state Rep. Dan Burke.
The ward is now a Latino stronghold, with its political map dramatically redrawn last year to eliminate Burke’s most favorable precincts. Four years ago, Burke won re-election roughly two months after being charged with attempted extortion.
Contributing: Tina Sfondeles
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February 28, 2023 at 08:51PM