Prentice Butler’s primary opponents endorse his candidacy in 4th Ward runoff – Hyde Park Herald

All the 4th Ward aldermanic candidates who did not make the April 4 runoff are endorsing their erstwhile opponent Prentice Butler, outgoing Ald. Sophia King’s chief of staff, for the City Council seat.

They spoke of Butler’s preparedness at a March 9 news conference, during which they also took turns attacking his opponent, state Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-5th), who won 46% of the vote in last month’s election. 

Ebony Lucas, a real estate attorney and third place finisher in the election, spoke of Butler’s work in the 4th Ward through different administrations, good times and bad. 

“Prentice has been there when the decisions have been made that maybe he didn’t agree with, and he always has come back to the community and tries to help in the best way that he can,” Lucas said. “We’re speaking from experience when we’re talking about why we’re supporting Prentice for this position.”

(Lucas is suing Robinson and Preckwinkle over allegations that political mailers sent during the campaign were defamatory of Lucas and her real estate business.)

Tracey Bey, founding president of mortgage brokerage Bey Financial Corp, said she appreciated how Butler handled dealing with developers on projects like Michael Reese and One Central near McCormick Place, noting that he was present for advisory council meetings and ensured the alderman’s office was responsive to the community’s wants and needs for the sites.

She also attacked Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who is endorsing Robinson, for being the 4th Ward’s Democratic committeewoman years after she stopped representing the ward on City Council. 

Helen West, a retired marketing executive and educator, said Butler supports bringing more STEM programs to local public schools. She also admonished Robinson for running for city office after getting reelected in November for another term in Springfield, as she had done frequently during her aldermanic campaign.

“I am certain that this is more than just (Robinson) wanting to be the alderman; it has more to do with politics and politicians wanting to exert control and power over the 4th Ward. That has to stop. We need the people’s voices heard in the 4th Ward,” West said. 

No forums are scheduled for the 4th Ward runoff with Robinson in attendance, though Butler would like to meet publicly with Robinson.

Asked about the lack of forums, Butler said, “I think it’s a shame, because I believe the voters of the community deserve the opportunity to hear from the candidates who are trying to represent them. Forums are an opportunity that I think should be welcomed by anybody who’s running for office.

“So I don’t understand why he’s declined these invitations, but I think he should strongly reconsider … And people need to hear our ideas in person, not through mailers,” he said. 

For his part, Butler said he is doing plenty of meet-and-greets and canvassing in order to win the election. 

“We’re going to keep on doing it, make sure people know who I am and make sure that they understand my message and platform about public safety, equitable development in our community and education front and center,” he said.

Reached for comment, Robinson’s campaign issued a statement: “Lamont Robinson recognizes the importance of forums as a platform for public discourse, and while he regrets not being able to attend due to a scheduling conflict, his unwavering focus is on engaging with every voter in the ward on a daily basis. From door-to-door canvassing to phone calls and ward events, Lamont is committed to hearing firsthand the issues and concerns that matter most to the community. With over 30 meet and greets already held, our campaign has also met with numerous organizations and unions who have all endorsed Lamont’s candidacy after thorough interviews about his qualifications and platform for working families. As an accessible and responsive public servant, Lamont will continue to advocate for the needs of his constituents, working tirelessly to ensure that their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed, just as he has always done as a state representative.”

Robinson added that he would, however, appear at a forum that was amenably scheduled. 

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via rk2’s favorite articles on Inoreader

March 11, 2023 at 05:47PM

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