A small but powerful group of aldermen will run unopposed in February's municipal election, and their names should come as no surprise to anybody who's ever raised an eyebrow to say: Only in Chicago.
The opponent-less include: veteran Ed Burke (14th ward), who heads up the City Council's finance committee; Marty Quinn (13th), a Michael Madigan protege elected without a challenge three years ago; and Brendan Reilly (42nd), who oversees the bustling, touristy, commerce-friendly Loop area. Another is the 48th ward Ald. Harry Osterman, a "close (Rahm Emanuel) ally," reports Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business.
The 40th's Patrick O'Connor, another heavy hitter with a solid relationship to Mayor Emanuel, has but one rival in the Feb. 24 contest. Meanwhile, dozens of candidates submitted petitions on Monday to unseat incumbents in wards on the South and West sides of town.
According to Hinz, in "the number of candidates for alderman is off by about a third at this point, with 252 filing this year compared to 351 last time."
As expected yesterday, 2nd ward Ald. Bob Fioretti (a loud critic of Emanuel) and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia" formally declared their mayoral candidacies with the Chicago Board of Election before the week-long window closed on filing. A slew of underdog contenders less well-known than Fioretti and Garcia also joined the race to oust Emanuel from his Fifth Floor office.
Since launching in June, Chicago Forward, a new super-PAC supporting Emanuel (and aldermen supportive of Emanuel), has raised more than $2.4 million to fund its unstated goal of trading campaign cash for loyalty—and keeping an controversial boss in office.