Wednesday, February 23, 2011

There are other run-offs in the surrounding wards

Those surrounding wards are the 16th, 17th, & 20th wards.

As the Chicago Defender reports:
Six incumbent aldermen in Black wards on the South and West sides must continue campaigning.

Failing to get at least 50 percent of the vote, Alds. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), Toni Foulkes (15th), JoAnn Thompson (16th), Latasha Thomas (17th), Willie Cochran (20th) and Sharon Dixon (24th) will fight to retain their seats in an April 5 runoff election.
Community organizer Hal Baskin is going after Thompson’s seat, who got 43 percent of the vote.

With 49 percent of the vote, Thomas must face David Moore in the runoff.

Cochran couldn’t escape a battle with rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith. Cochran snagged 46 percent of the vote.
From the Chicago News Coop:
Incumbents in two traditionally volatile South Side wards are headed for runoffs. The irregularly shaped 15th and 16th wards, which include portions of Englewood, West Englewood, and surrounding communities, have lacked political power for years, and election-season scrums are frequent. Leadership of the 15th Ward, for example, has been decided by a runoff in five of the last six municipal elections. Four years ago organized labor contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Toni Foulkes and JoAnn Thompson emerge from crowded fields to win in runoffs. They’ll need to win in the second round again if they want to hold their seats, since both finished first again this time around without getting outright majorities. Foulkes will face Southwest Airlines skycap Raymond Lopez while Thompson will square off against Hal Baskin, a former gang member whose background stirred up controversy in previous unsuccessful runs for the office.

Their neighbor, 17th Ward Alderman Latasha Thomas, is also headed for a runoff. With 89 percent of precincts reporting, the 11-year veteran, an ally of powerful Reverend Michael Pfleger and a key black City Council loyalist of Mayor Daley’s, had 49 percent of the vote to 19 percent for her closest challenger, Cook County employee David Moore.

In the 20th Ward, another rookie alderman, Willie Cochran, was forced into a runoff against Grammy Award-winning rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith.

Cochran, a former cop, won the seat in 2007 after his predecessor, Arenda Troutman, was arrested for accepting bribes, but Smith said not enough had been done to reverse the fortunes of the depressed ward, which includes much of Woodlawn and Washington Park as well as slivers of Englewood and Back of the Yards. Cochran, meanwhile, highlighted Smith’s decade-old guilty plea on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and six-year-old conviction on a gun charge. “That’s just what we need in an alderman,” Cochran told the Chicago News Cooperative.

“Low voter turnout is to blame,” Cochran said Tuesday. “Or Willie Cochran may be to blame because we didn’t go out and do the things that we needed to do.”

Smith called the results a victory for the community. “I think now young people see that we don’t have to just be rappers. We don’t have to just be athletes. We can be aldermen. We can be teachers. We can be more than our past presented. We can be more than our present dictates.”
In the other surrounding wards 5th, 8th, 9th and 21st Wards the incumbents there are staying put because they won their re-election bids yesterday.

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