Stone out in 50th Ward shakeup

April 6, 2011 3:27:48 AM PDT
Election Day delivered a major shakeup in Chicago politics as well as the arrest of an aldermanic candidate.

After 59 years in politics, nearly 38 of them as a Chicago City Council member, Alderman Stone, 83, was retired Tuesday night. Debra Silverstein, endorsed by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, will be the new 50th Ward alderman.

"It would appear that...this will be my last term," said Stone.

"Change has come to the 50th Ward," Silverstein exclaimed to cheers.

Michael Chandler will return to the city council representing the West Side's 24th Ward. He defeated incumbent Sharon Dixon, who ousted Chandler in 2007.

"It's clearly a victory for the community. The people had a clear choice. They experienced the leadership of Sharon Dixon for four years. They've experienced the leadership of Michael Chandler for 12 years. People made a clear choice," said Chandler.

36th Ward Alderman John Rice, appointed in 2009 to replace his boss and predecessor William Banks, lost to firefighter Nicholas Sposato.

"We got a lot of things that we want to do. Just going to work hard, dig in," said Sposato. "We're ready to roll."

Roderick Sawyer, the son of the late Mayor Eugene Sawyer, had a 124-vote lead over 6th Ward Alderman Fredrenna Lyle with all the precincts reporting.

"I believe I won because the residents of the 6th Ward wanted a new beginning,"said Sawyer. "They are tired of what was going on as of the last several years."

Incumbents who survived their runoffs include Tony Foulkes, Joann Thompson and Latasha Thomas in the 15th, 16th and 17th Wards.

Thompson's opponent, Hal Baskin, was arrested at an elementary school after an altercation with an election judge.

"Never said anything to anybody, never threatened anybody, never intimidated anybody," said Baskin. "They arrested me."

Willie Cochran won the 20th Ward over rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith. Danny Solis, the zoning committee chairman, retained his 25th Ward seat, and Tim Cullerton prevailed in the 38th Ward.

Among the four open seats, Mary O'Connor won the 41st Ward and James Cappleman won the 46th.

In two other extremely tight races, Michele Smith appeared to have won the 43rd Ward, and with 100 percent of precincts reporting, John Arena, the union-backed candidate, was leading police officer John Garrido by a scant 29 votes out of more than 12,000 cast.

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel endorsed challengers Silverstein and Chandler over the incumbents they defeated, but Emanuel-endorsed aldermen Lyle and Rice lost their races despite the incoming mayor's support.

An Emanuel spokeswoman said the mayor-elect made congratulatory calls to all the winners Tuesday night. has all election results. Updates are also available at