Let the changes begin for Chicago's 50th Ward.
After 37 years in the Chicago City Council, Ald. Bernard "Berny" Stone has conceded to Debra Silverstein. With 84 percent of precincts reporting at 8:45 p.m., Stone said there was no way he could make up the votes.
"It's over. I loved it," he said of the race and, presumably, his tenure in the council.
Stone said it was going to "hurt to say good-bye" and took swipes at his challenger.
"She's a shell... a know-nothing," he said of Silverstein.
The loss isn't a total surprise considering mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel showed outward support of Silverstein, but it marks the end of an era for a ward run by the second longest-serving aldermen after Ald. Ed Burke.
Stone was elected to the City Council in 1973 and even tried his hand at a couple of mayoral campaigns over the years. Some say Stone's Far North Side ward is overdue for a leadership change, and residents' despondency was reflected in Stone's barely won 2007 election.
The following year, state Sen. Ira Silverstein, husband of Stone opponent Debra, ran against Stone for ward committeemen, and Silverstein won nearly 75 percent of the vote.
In Tuesday's race, Stone carried support from Burke and 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell, but that couldn't match the big bucks and campaign help Emanuel gave to Debra Silverstein.
Stone's plight grew when the Illinois Board of Elections called him out on charges of diverting campaign funds to a PAC set up to smear his opponent.
On Friday, Stone held a press conference condemning Emanuel for funding fliers that attacked Stone for allegedly voting against the interests of veterans, and in favor of the parking meter deal.
“I will be a puppet for nobody," Stone said, "and I will certainly not be a puppet for the mayor-elect once I’m re-elected.”