Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 elections unfinished business

We weren't really following closing those elections which were entirely close, but we know that election officials here in Chicago were still counting votes. While we're going outside of our scope a bit in the nearby 10th ward we know who the winner is:
The Board of Election Commissioners on Tuesday counted the final votes from the April 7 runoff election, and challenger Susan Sadlowski Garza ended up topping incumbent Ald. John Pope (10th) by just 20 votes.

The final tally, to be certified and published by the board on Thursday, saw Garza with 5,825 votes and Pope with 5,805.

As the counting went on over the two weeks since the runoff, most races already had clear winners, including of course the re-election of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but the final absentee and provisional votes trickling in decided the battle between Pope and Garza on the far Southeast Side.

Tuesday afternoon's count at the election board found Garza finishing with a 20-vote cushion after starting the day 33 votes up. Pope claimed 24 late absentees to 13 for Garza to cut her lead to 22, but Pope could make up only two more on provisional ballots.

Garza claimed 50.1 percent of the 11,630 votes cast in the 10th Ward, while Pope had 49.9 percent.

Both sides, however, have already filed suit for a recount, and Pope has retained crack election lawyer Michael Kasper, so the case seems headed to Cook County Circuit Court. According to election board spokesman Jim Allen, the declared victor typically drops the suit, forcing the runner-up to proceed as plaintiff. From that point, the election board follows any instructions given by the assigned judge in handling a recount.
Also another close election in another part of the city the 31st ward:
Longtime 31st Ward Ald. Ray Suarez has been forced into retirement after a final count of votes Tuesday from the April 7 runoff election showed him losing to challenger Milagros "Milly" Santiago by 79 votes.

A week ago, when it seemed clear he was headed to a narrow loss, Suarez said he would not challenge the results. Suarez, chairman of the Housing Committee, was first elected alderman of his Northwest Side ward in 1991.

Santiago is a former Telemundo and Univision reporter who is mulling whether to join the Progressive Reform Caucus that's often at odds with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Suarez, by contrast, was a loyal Emanuel supporter.
Ah the Progressive Caucus is growing in number. Yes they lost one thanks to the remap but the member of that body of independent Chicago Alderman remains largely intact and with all the incumbents bounced out of office will grow much more in influence. So here's what DNA Info says:
The seven members of the Progressive Reform Caucus running for re-election all won, and they could be joined by as many as seven others.
So we could have 14 members of the Progressive Caucus. I would like to see what would be on their agenda when inaugurated next month.

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