Ald. Jim Gardiner Is Headed To A Runoff Against Megan Mathias In 45th Ward Race

CHICAGO — Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) will face challenger Megan Mathias in a runoff to lead the Far Northwest Side ward.

The city elections board released its final, unofficial results Tuesday night, showing Gardiner had secured 48 percent of the vote in the Feb. 28 election — not enough to avoid a runoff. That means he’ll face Mathias, the candidate with the next highest amount of votes, in the April 4 runoff.

Gardiner had 7,683 votes, while Mathias has 2,699, according to the unofficial results. They’re expected to be certified when the elections board’s commissioners meet Wednesday afternoon.

Gardiner and Mathias had been in a tight race for weeks, and it wasn’t clear until the final results came out if they’d head to the runoff or if Gardiner had fended off the challengers.

During the wait, Gardiner told the Tribune he hoped to avoid a runoff — but he faced a crowded field of five challengers and has been under intense scrutiny for months after a series of scandals.

Gardiner was first elected in 2019, beating incumbent Ald. John Arena after a contentious election that saw the candidates and residents spar over affordable housing in the ward and other issues. Before then, Gardiner worked as an EMT with the Fire Department.

But Gardiner’s first term as alderperson has been rife with controversy. He’s faced an FBI probe, multiple lawsuits and allegations he withheld ward services from critics and used foul language to describe women, among other concerns.

Gardiner’s also been criticized by challengers who said he tried to intimidate their volunteers and workers. Federal, county and city officials have looked into his conduct.

But Gardiner has said he’s brought more businesses and development to the ward, as his term has seen the overhaul of the former Sears at Six Corners and the impending opening of a senior housing complex. He’s received support from police and firefighter unions — key endorsements in the 45th Ward, where many city workers live.

Mathias previously said she’ll reach out to the other candidates in the race so they can find common ground that can help her beat Gardiner.

The two candidates could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

The ward covers parts of Old Irving Park, Portage Park, Jefferson Park, Gladstone Park, parts of Edgebrook, Wildwood and small parts of Norwood Park.

The final results:

  • Susanna Ernest: 1,887 votes, 11.79 percent
  • Megan Mathias: 2,699 votes, 16.86 percent
  • James “Jim” Gardiner: 7,683 votes, 48 percent
  • Ana Santoyo: 895 votes, 5.59 percent
  • Marija Tomic: 562 votes, 3.51 percent
  • James Suh: 2,279 votes, 14.24 percent

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “The Ballot: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”:

Chi,Feeds,News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

via Block Club Chicago

March 15, 2023 at 08:24AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s