Ed Burke claims victory in 14th Ward aldermanic race despite federal charge

CHICAGO (WLS) -- He may have a federal charge for attempted extortion hanging over his head, but Alderman Ed Burke was confident Tuesday that voters of the 14th Ward would send him back to City Hall as they have for the past 50 years.

"I feel good about it. I think the campaign turned out fine. If you drive through the neighborhood, you can see the signs," Burke said.

Burke's confidence appears to be well-founded: Burke claimed victory with 53.8 percent of his precinct's votes.

With two Latino candidates running against Burke in a majority Hispanic ward, this was the first election in decades where he's been forced to work hard and spend some of his multimillion dollar campaign war chest.

"He's been using his money by using other Latinos to helm him. That all plays a factor," said Tanya Patiño, one of Burke's challengers.

Patiño says Burke uses intimidation to stay in power. Patiño was counting on her support from Congressman Chuy Garcia to force Burke into his first runoff.

"Him being honest all those years with different political positions that he has held really helps to have his support and endorsement goes a long way," she said.

Candidate Jamie Guzman was hoping endorsements by the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times would help his grassroots campaign. Though Guzman worried about low turnout, which typically helps the incumbent.

"But at the same time, I want to say I have faith in people and I want to believe that people are paying attention to what's been going on and people are paying attention to what the incumbent has been taking part in," Guzman said.

Burke maintained his innocence as he visited his polling place.

"I haven't done anything wrong, haven't done anything immoral, haven't done anything illegal," he said.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.