14 wards to hold runoff races for city aldermen

February 23, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Runoffs are held in races where no candidate received more than 50-percent of the vote Tuesday. So in 14 wards, run-off elections will be held - about a month and a half from now.

"I'm a survivor, you know that," Alderman Bernard Stone, who is the oldest member of the Chicago City Council, said. At 83, he seeks an 11th term in the 50th War on the Far North Side neighborhood of Rogers Park. He's facing a bruising battle against Debra Silverstein, a CPA and the wife of state senator.

"Many in this ward have told me they wished they could just move across Peterson because they get more city services there," Silverstein said.

"If you needed surgery, would you go to an intern who never held a knife, or someone with 37 years experience?" Stone said.

In the 38th Ward on the Far Northwest Side that includes Portage Park and Old Irving Park, Timothy Cullerton has a family name for Chicago politics. He was recently appointed alderman.

"I didn't anticipate it'd be easy to do without a runoff, so I'm not surprised," Ald. Timothy Cullerton said.

Cullerton will face Tom Caravette, a realtor making his first run for office. Caravette said, "I believe all those people looking for the anti-machine will come out and rally the sport."

In the 25th Ward, which includes Pilsen, Chinatown and Little Italy on the city's West Side, incumbent Alderman Danny Solis said he'll rely on allies like Congressman Luis Gutierrez in the runoff against Cuahutemoc Morfin, a community activist.

In the 16 th Ward on the city's Southwest Side, which includes Gage Park and Chicago Lawn, incumbent Alderman Joann Thompson is in a runoff against Hal Baskin. Haskin runs a gang intervention program and admits to gang involvement in his youth.

In the 6 th Ward, which includes East Englewood and Chatham on the city's South Side, incumbent Alderman Freddrenna Lyle is up against Roderick Sawyer, an attorney who once supported Lyle. He's the son the late mayor Eugene Sawyer.

And just next door in the 20th Ward that includes Woodlawn, Englewood and Back of the Yards, it's an interesting pairing between incumbent Willie Cochran, a retired police sergeant, and Grammy-winning hip hop artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith.

"Why do we have to live in a 3rd world country of a community? It's not fair, it's not justice and we don't deserve it," Che "Rhymefest" Smith said.

"We're gonna make some changes and we're gonna be successful and address those things people want us to address," Ald. Willie Cochran said.

The runoff elections will be held on April 5th.

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