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Chicago’s Black Wards In The February 26 Election
by Allen Harris
Ten wards on the North Side, plus the 25th Ward on the near Southwest Side, lifted mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot to first place on February 26.
In the 1st, 33rd, 35th, 40th, 46th, 47th, 48th and 49th wards, Lightfoot was first and Preckwinkle second. However, in the 25th, 32nd and 44th wards, Lightfoot was first and Bill Daley second.
Five wards carried Preckwinkle to second place. Four were on the South Side – the 3rd, 4th, 5th and the 8th – and one on the West Side, the 26th.
In the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 26th wards, Preckwinkle was first and Lightfoot second. But in Ald. Michelle Harris’s 8th Ward, Preckwinkle was first, and Willie Wilson came in a close second and Lightfoot was a more distant third.
Interestingly, it was Willie Wilson who carried the most wards citywide. He won 14, all of them that were black-majority or heavily black on the South and West sides. They are the 6th, 7th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 34th on the South Side and the 24th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 37th on the West Side.
Here is a closer look at how Lightfoot and Preckwinkle fared on February 26 in those Willie Wilson wards.
On the South Side, Toni Preckwinkle came in second in the 6th, 7th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 34th wards. Lightfoot came in third in each ward, but she was a distant third in the 6th, 7th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 34th.
On the West Side, Preckwinkle came in second in the 24th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 37th wards. Again, Lightfoot came in third, but closer to Preckwinkle than on the South Side. Preckwinkle’s support is weaker on the West Side than on the South Side.
Since it was Willie Wilson who won the black wards that Preckwinkle and Lightfoot didn’t, one can conclude that once again it will be the black community of Chicago which will decide the mayoral runoff on April 2. As of late March, Lightfoot appears to be surging ahead while Preckwinkle is faltering.
This is especially the case for Preckwinkle. She needs to carry all five of her wards and all 14 of Willie Wilson’s wards – and scrounge for extra votes in Susana Mendoza’s 12th, 15th and 22nd wards as well as in Ald. Sue Garza’s 10th Ward. Preckwinkle’s negative TV ad against Lightfoot boomeranged. The public did not like it. Around March 19, she pulled all her advertising off the air. In the 15th, Willie Wilson on March 5 endorsed Rafael Yanez against incumbent Ald. Raymond Lopez. This aligns Yanez with Lightfoot.
Lightfoot could win by carrying all her 10 wards, plus the eight Bill Daley wards and by picking off a few of Wilson’s and Susana Mendoza’s wards.
On March 5, Wilson endorsed Lightfoot, which may or may not deny the West Side to Preckwinkle. Rep. Danny Davis, whose district is mainly on the West Side and who had been a Willie Wilson man, broke with Wilson and endorsed Preckwinkle.
In the races for City Council, these black wards will have runoffs on April 2:
5th: Challenger William Calloway (26.74%) vs. incumbent Leslie Hairston (48.51). Hairston was elected in 1999. Willie Wilson endorsed Calloway on March 5 and Calloway endorsed Lightfoot. Hairston aligned with Preckwinkle.
6th: Incumbent Roderick Sawyer (49.97) vs. challenger Deborah A. Foster-Bonner (31.24). Sawyer was elected in 2011. He is backed by Workers United.
16th: Challenger Stephanie Coleman (44.12) vs. incumbent Toni Foulkes (31.48). Foulkes was first elected alderman of the 15th Ward in 2007 and was elected 16th Ward alderman in 2015. Willie Wilson endorsed Coleman on March 5. Wilson will have a tight grip on the 16th Ward.
20th: Challengers Jeanette B. Taylor (28.78) vs. Nicole Johnson (21.97). Incumbent Willie Cochran did not seek re-election. On March 21 he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and resigned his seat. The other Willie won the 20th Ward and endorsed Johnson on March 5.
21st: Incumbent Howard Brookins (45.82) vs. Marvin McNeil (25.27). Brookins was elected in 2003. Because Lightfoot was a distant third in the 20th Ward, Wilson is playing safe by backing Brookins. Challenger McNeil likely will line up with Preckwinkle. Wilson won the 21st.
These black incumbents won on February 26:
Pat Dowell (3rd) with 69.00%. She was elected in 2007. Also won by Preckwinkle.
Sophia King (4th) with 66.09. She was appointed by Rahm Emanuel in 2016. Also won by Preckwinkle.
Gregory Mitchell (7th) with 66.33. He was elected in 2015. Also won by Wilson.
Michelle Harris (8th) with 64.35. She was appointed by Richard M. Daley in 2006. Also won by Preckwinkle.
Anthony Beale (9th) with 59.30. He was elected in 1999. Also won by Wilson.
David Moore (17th) with 67.20. He was elected in 2015. Also won by Wilson.
Derrick Curtis (18th) with 67.34. He was elected in 2015. Also won by Wilson.
Carrie Austin (34th) with 54.37. She was appointed by Richard M. Daley in 1994. Also won by Wilson.
Michael Scott Jr. (24th) with 59.92%. He was elected in 2015. Also won by Wilson.
Walter Burnett (27th) with 68.59. He was elected in 1995. Also won by Wilson.
Jason Ervin (28th,) with 61.38. Ald. Ervin was appointed by Richard M. Daley in January 2011 and elected to a full term in February 2011. His wife is Melissa Conyears-Ervin, who is in the April 2 runoff for city treasurer. Also won by Wilson.
Chris Taliaferro (29th) with 58.72. He was elected in 2015. Also won by Wilson.
Emma Mitts (37th) with 54.1. She was appointed by Richard M. Daley in January 2000. Also won by Wilson.
These black challengers won on February 26:
- SOUTH SIDE – No one
- WEST SIDE – No one
- NORTH SIDE – Maria Hadden (49th, won by Lightfoot) with 63.40%.
REFERENDUMS IN THE BLACK / HEAVILY BLACK WARDS
5thWard, 05thPrecinct 259 votes
6thWard, 05thPrecinct 141 votes
6thWard, 23rdPrecinct 102 votes
6thWard, 26thPrecinct 137 votes
16thWard, 33rdPrecinct 134 votes
17thWard, all 41 precincts 7,412 votes
20thWard, 01stPrecinct 260 votes
20thWard, 22nd Precinct 331 votes
20th Ward, 23rd Precinct 215 votes
24thWard, 05thPrecinct 77 votes
24thWard, 20thPrecinct 129 votes
24thWard, 30thPrecinct 92 votes
28thWard, all 46 precincts 7,750 votes
29thWard, 02ndPrecinct 289 votes
29thWard, 03rdPrecinct 220 votes
29thWard, 16thPrecinct 213 votes
29thWard, 28thPrecinct 246 votes