Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Ex-IDOT Worker Picked To Replace Sandi Jackson

Natashia Holmes starts new job as 7th Ward alderman on Wednesday

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he was impressed that Natashia Holmes ran for the school board even though she didn't have children in the schools. Marion Brooks reports.

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An Illinois Department of Transportation employee will replace Sandi Jackson as alderman of Chicago's 7th Ward.

Natashia Holmes was chosen this week by Mayor Rahm Emanuel following Jackson's replacement last month, a City Hall source confirms. Holmes was one of 65 applicants and 53 eligible candidates to fill the seat.

"I have no doubt in my mind that Natashia is the right person for this job," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during an afternoon press conference introducing her.

A committee conducted interviews and narrowed down the applicants to three. Emanuel told reporters at the beginning of the application process that he wants someone with a record of "community involvement."

"This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and one that I look forward to," said Holmes. ""I plan on meeting with community groups to get a sense of where we are and what needs to be done."

She begins her job Wednesday, when the Chicago City Council next meets.

Holmes was a one-time IDOT employee who no longer works there, the Sun-Times reports.

Jackson, wife of former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., announced her resignation in a letter to Emanuel in January.

"I am unapologetically a wife and a mother and I cannot deny my commitment to those most important personal responsibilities," she wrote in the letter.

Jackson Jr. recently signed a plea deal in a federal probe of his campaign finances. Sandi Jackson's role in the alleged misuse of campaign funds still may land her in legal trouble, according to NBC News. For years she received a $5,000 a month check from her husband as his political consultant.

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