There are ten contentious Democratic ward committeeman races in Chicago and five vacancies on the Republican side now that the objections process has ended, and several longtime Democratic committeeman will have a challenger.
On the city’s northwest side, Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30) will face Noe Favela, an assistant vice president and project manager for Bank of America for the 30th Ward Democratic Committeeman seat. Longtime 33rd Ward Democratic Committeeman and former alderman Dick Mell will be up against attorney Aaron Goldstein. Despite defending Mell’s son-in-law, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in both his federal corruption trials, Goldstein has on multiple occasions equated the Mells to a political dynasty controlling the ward.
There are vacancies for 39th and 41st Ward Democratic seats. The former will be a matchup between Patrick Molloy and Robert Murphy. Molloy, the Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Chicago Public Library, a life-long 39th Ward resident, and former Chairman of Friends of Margaret Laurino, was appointed to the seat in August 2015 to finish out the term of Laurino husband, Randy Barnette. Murphy is an architect who lives in Forest Glen and is a co-founder of the anti O’Hare noise group FaIR Coalition.
A three-way race in the 41st Ward between Tim Heneghan, Goran Davidovac andAndrew Devito will determine who will take over the vacancy left by former 41st WardAld. Mary O’Connor, who chose not to run for re-election after losing her seat on the City Council to Anthony Napolitano. Napolitano is backing DeVito, a former Streets and Sanitation and Department of Aviation worker and retired business agent for the International Laborer’s Union of North America (LiUNA). O’Connor has thrown her support behind Heneghan, a veteran firefighter and member of a local school council.Davidovac is a local school council member for Taft High School. The local community group The 41st Ward Citizens has endorsed both Heneghan and Davidovac. Citing both candidates’ records of “extensive community volunteer work and leadership,” on their Facebook page, the group said it could not “come to a consensus on just one candidate.”
Another three way race on the city’s southwest side is the open 16th Ward Democratic Committeeman seat formerly held by the late Ald. JoAnn Thompson and more recently filled by a special appointment of Ald. Toni Foulkes (16). Foulkes will face off against Stephanie Coleman and Nathan Wilson. Coleman (the daughter of former 16th Ward Ald. Shirley Coleman) and Foulkes duked it out in the recent aldermanic election. Theirs was one of the closer runoff elections, with Foulkes beating Coleman by 143 votes. Wilson was the ward superintendent under Thompson, but we cannot confirm his current job title.
Another potentially heated race on the city’s Southwest side is in the 12th Ward. The incumbent Democratic Ward Committeeman, State Sen. Tony Munoz, is being challenged by local alderman George Cardenas. While Cardenas has been on the council since 2003, this is the first time he’s running for Democratic committeeman.
There’s also some confusion over who controls the political action committee for the organization, the 12th Ward Regular Democratic Organization. The State Board of Elections lists Cardenas as the chairman of the campaign, which, under state law, gives him the authority to transfer funds from the organization to his personal campaign fund, but the stated purpose of the committee is to “elect Antonio Munoz to public office.” When Aldertrack reached out to the campaign’s treasurer, Patricia Rodriguez,she confirmed the campaign is fundraising for Munoz, not Cardenas. She said Cardenas should no longer be listed as the organization’s chairman. Regardless, the group barely fundraised for the 4th Quarter of 2015, reeling in $1,920 in total receipts between October 1st and December 31st.
Another Southwest side alderman, Mike Zalewski (23), who represents Midway Airport, has a challenger: Charles Hughes, who tried to run for alderman in 2015 but never made it on the ballot. Hughes is an employee of Nicor Gas, according to his Sun-Times candidate questionnaire. He has yet to create a fundraising committee. Meanwhile, between his personal campaign fund and the ward’s PAC, the 23rd Ward Regular Democratic Organization, Zalewski has about $56,600 in the bank.
Further south, in the 10th Ward, Ald. Sue Sadlowski-Garza is up against Fred Carrizales, a Specialist in Aging with the Department of Family and Support Services who also has ties to the defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization. Garza’s newly created PAC, 10th Ward Democratic Organization, has $100 in cash on hand, while her personal fund has about $21,500. Carrizales has yet to create a committee.
On the city’s north side, aldermen Joe Moreno (1) and Pat O’Connor (40), Mayor Emanuel’s unofficial floor leader, each face a challenger. Maria Teresa Gonzales will try to unseat Moreno in the 1st Ward and Dianne Daleiden, a public school teacher and CTU member, who ran and lost for alderman in the 40th Ward, will face O’Connor again in March. O’Connor beat Daleiden with 58% of the vote.
As for five Republican vacancies in the 10th, 21st, 22nd, 30th, and 39th Wards, the Chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, Aaron Del Mar, will fill those seats after the March Primary.