Jack Lydon, the 47th Ward Democratic Committeeman, stepped down from his post last Wednesday evening, September 2, and was immediately replaced by Paul Rosenfeld, a Springfield lobbyist who plans to run for the spot next spring. Rosenfeld was voted in by the 47th Ward Democratic Organization, who met in the back of O’Donovan’s Pub on West Irving Park Rd., as the organization has not had an official office since former Ald. Eugene Schulter stepped down from the post in 2012.
Rosenfeld says he plans for the organization, “to make decisions collectively. We’ve got a lot of really smart attorneys that live in this ward, I’m going to lean on them especially for vetting judicial offices.”
Rosenfeld, who says his run for committeeman already has the support of most elected officials living in the way, says he’ll revitalize leadership in the ward organization, including naming Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer as president of the organization.
Rosenfeld, who currently leads Ald. Ameya Pawar’s Grow 47 public schools initiative, was also once a staffer for former Ald. Dick Mell (33) and a top fundraiser for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rosenfeld was labeled “Lobbyist #2” in federal investigator phone tap transcripts of Blagojevich that led to the governor’s conviction and imprisonment.
Rosenfeld briefly ran for the post in 2011, but dropped out of the race in favor of an Mayor Rahm Emanuel-favored candidate, Peter Coffey, at the last minute. Emanuel lives in the ward.
Other political leaders in the ward say off the record that there are no other candidates openly passing petitions for the committeeman seat, so Rosenfeld may run unopposed. Candidates must file no fewer than 751 good signatures with the Chicago Board of Elections no later than November 30.