43rd Ward Preview: Smith Versus Egan - NBC Chicago
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43rd Ward Preview: Smith Versus Egan



    43rd Ward Preview: Smith Versus Egan

    Developers and their money. That's the new wrinkle in the 43rd Ward runoff for alderman.

    Alderman Vi Daley is retiring and the two remaining candidates disagree widely on the vision for Lincoln Park's future.

    Michele Smith wants to stop the development of the shuttered Lincoln Park Hospital that will be voted on next month by the Chicago City Council.

    "I really am committed to get this right, I'm not going to take anything off the table," Smith says.

    On the other hand, candidate Tim Egan favors the proposal.

    "It's a matter of progress. Vibrancy brings progress. That's what it's all about," Egan, who has been backed by the pro-Emanuel fun For a Better Chicago, says.

    Egan finished second in the February contest to Smith, but he's received the endorsements of all seven former candidates. Outgoing Alderman Vi Daley also endorsed Egan Monday, creating what Egan calls a "consensus candidacy."

    "Alderman Daley pledged to remain neutral, but I have the endorsement of Marty Oberman and Chuck Bernardini," Smith says.

    With one week to go until voters return to the polls, Smith hit Egan with a new charge Monday, saying he has accepted "more than one hundred thousand in campaign contributions in development interests."

    Egan says he hasn't received a dime from any of the developers of Lincoln Park Hospital .

    "It's absoultely baseless. How could she say 100 percent of her contributions come from within the ward, but anyone in the world who can log on to a computer can type in to realize she's receiving 300 thousand from a person in Wilmette," Egan said.

    Smith, an attorney, and Egan a hospital administrator say they have the volunteers in place to get voters back to the polls on April 5th. A lower turnout is expected because there's no mayoral race on the ballot.