Snapshot of the Aldermanic Races

February 22, 2011 8:06:29 PM PST
Chicagoans are also voting to elect new aldermen. All 50 wards are up for election.

Seven aldermen are running unopposed. That leaves 43 contested ward elections and a total of 239 candidates who want to sit in the Chicago City Council.

There are some familiar names but many more new faces that will shape Chicago politics to come.

Seven candidates are vying for the council seat in the 4th Ward on the South Side. It's the ward of former alderman Toni Preckwinkle who went on to be Cook County board president.

Further south on the lakefront in the 7th Ward, it's the family feud between incumbent Sandi Jackson, the wife of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and Darcel Beavers who wants back the aldermanic seat she lost. She's the daughter of county commissioner William Beavers. Six others are on the ballot.

Also on the South Side in the 20th Ward, which snakes from Back of the Yards through Englewood to Woodlawn and Washington Park, hip-hop artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith is trying to win against the incumbent former police sergeant Willie Cochran. Joining the fray is George Davis, a lawyer with an MBA, along with Andre Smith and Sidney Shelton.

There's a bit of old leadership versus new in the 12th Ward, which includes Little Village, Brighton Park and Back of the Yards. Incumbent George Cardenas is in a fight against Jesus "Jesse" Iniguez running for his second time. Also in the race are city truck driver Jose Guereca, businessman Alberto Bocanegra and newcomer Maria "Chula" Ortiz.

The winner of the most congested ballot is the 24th Ward on the West Side. Eighteen candidates, including incumbent Sharon Dixon, want the job of alderman.

In the 25th Ward which includes Pilsen, Chinatown, Little Italy and the UIC campus, it's a three-way race between incumbent Danny Solis going for his fourth term, Cuahutemoc Morfin, a community activist, and Ambrosio Medrano Jr., the son of the former alderman. His father was convicted in the Silver Shovel scandal.

On the far North Side in the 50th Ward, which includes Rogers Park, longtime Alderman Bernie Stone is facing what may be his toughest race since he was first elected 38 years ago. He has four challengers: Debra Silverstein, the wife of state Senator Ira Silverstein who took the ward committeeman's job from Stone.

There are also elections in some suburbs Tuesday. Voters in the northern suburbs of Waukegan and North Chicago are choosing aldermen. And there are village trustee elections in south suburban Dolton and South Holland.