Tension rises in 50th Ward runoff

April 1, 2011 4:40:11 PM PDT
City Council veteran Bernard Stone is locked in bitter race for re-election in Chicago's 50th Ward.

On Friday, Stone said his opponent in the aldermanic race Debra Silverstein and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel are distorting his record.

Voters go to the polls on Tuesday in the far Northwest Side ward.

Stone stands with other veterans decrying mailings from his opposition and his opposition's influential supporter -- Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

"I am really angry at this point," Stone said.

One mailing from the New Chicago Committee seems to question Stone's commitment to veterans with his vote to cut free rides to veterans.

Stone says his vote had more to do with funding CTA.

At 83 years old, Stone has been the alderman of 50th Ward for 38 years. He says the mailings are an effort by Emanuel to gain support from a new class of aldermen.

"Here is the mayor-Elect misleading our public and the constituents of the 50 Ward. I guess someone who he wants to be his puppet in City Council. I will be a puppet for nobody," Stone said.

Debra Silverstein is running against Stone. Silverstein approves of the mailings sent by a committee formed by Emanuel and she says she is grateful for the Mayor-elect's support.

"I'm looking forward to working with him but I'm also going to be a very independent alderman," Silverstein said.

Earlier this week, Stone was called to a State Board of Elections' hearing. Stone testified he was misled by a staffer who wrongly used campaign funds for ads targeting Silverstein.

Silverstein suspects Friday's press conference with Stone is an effort to deflect attention from that issue.

"His signature is on the checks. I'm campaigning, and I'm also writing checks. I know exactly where my money is going and I think he should know, especially being an alderman as long as he's been. He should know where the money is going," Silverstein said.

Mayor-elect Emanuel didn't comment on the 50th Ward at the Cubs game Friday, but he is expected to be at a campaign event for Silverstein over the weekend.