Ed Burke seeks to retain his power on the City Council.
Tuesday's aldermanic elections were about more than just the candidates who won and lost in the city's 14 competitive wards. Interest groups, ancillary characters and power brokers all had a stake in the contests, too. Here's a run down of who else won and lost.
ROLAND BURRIS: Older voters in Chatham neighborhood have been fans of Roland Burris ever since he was elected comptroller -- with the help of 6th Ward Alderman Eugene Sawyer. Burris’s endorsement of Sawyer’s son, Roderick, helped him squeak out a victory over incumbent Freddrenna Lyle, who was backed by Rahm Emanuel, Ed Burke and all the major unions. Does Burris have more clout than Emanuel on the South Side? Probably not, but he does have more clout than the South Side’s other ex-senator, who made no endorsements during the runoffs.
FOR A BETTER CHICAGO: The shady pro-Emanuel campaign fund, which exploited a loophole in the campaign laws to avoid revealing the names of its donors, went 10-for-12 in Tuesday’s elections. Its only losers were John Rice in the 36th Ward, and John Garrido, in the 38th.
CHICAGO CLEAN POWER ORDINANCE: Cuauhtemoc Morfin couldn’t defeat 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis, but the runoff inspired Solis to finally support an ordinance that would force Pilsen’s Fisk Generating Plant to switch from coal to gas.
GAYS: By winning in the 46th Ward, James Cappelman joins 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney as the second openly gay member of the City Council.
RAHM EMANUEL AND EDWARD BURKE: With the exception of the 50th Ward, where Emanuel campaigned for winner Debra Silverstein and Burke held a fundraiser for loser Berny Stone, they mostly supported the same successful candidates. Tuesday was not a referendum on which of these power brokers will control the City Council.
REPUBLICANS: For the first time anyone can remember, the City Council will have no Republicans. The Council’s current lone Republican, Brian Doherty, gave up his seat this year to lose an election in the state senate. Both Republicans on Tuesday’s ballot, Maurita Gavin in the 41st and John Garrido in the 45th, went down to defeat. If the Republicans can’t win on the Northwest Side, they can’t win anywhere.
HAL BASKIN: If Hal Baskin just lost elections, he’d be another perennial candidate, like Ray Wardingley. But Baskin, who has now lost three runoffs in the 16th Ward, has to lose ugly, violating all decorum on the way to defeat. In 1995, he suggested opponent hadn’t given her murderer/rapist ex-husband “what he needed at home.” On Tuesday, he was arrested at a polling place for verbally assaulting election judges.
HIP-HOP: Who votes in runoff elections? Old folks vote in runoff elections. And they’re just not ready for a hip-hop artist, as Che “Rhymefest” Smith learned in his losing campaign against Ald. Willie B. Cochran. But Chicago is the capital of socially conscious rap. Give it another 20 years. Then we’ll see the names Lonnie “Common” Lynn, Carl “Twista” Mitchell, Wasalu “Lupe Fiasco” Jaco and Melisa “Kid Sister” Young on aldermanic ballots.
LIVERY SERVICES: Nicholas Sposato defeated appointed Ald. John Rice in the 36th Ward by mocking him as former Ald. William J.P. Banks’s “driver.” Apparently not a good resume builder for City Council.
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