How Rahm's Aldermanic Supporters Fared in the Runoff - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

How Rahm's Aldermanic Supporters Fared in the Runoff

Six of the mayor's supporters in City Council failed to win their re-election bids in Tuesday's election



    How Rahm's Aldermanic Supporters Fared in the Runoff
    Ray Suarez, longtime alderman of the 31st ward and a supporter of Rahm Emanuel, could lose his job after trailing his opponent Milly Santiago in Tuesday's election.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel came out on top in Tuesday's election, but several of his key supporters in City Council did not.

    In one of the most contentious races, Ald. Ray Suarez, who has held the 31st ward seat for 24 years, trails his opponent Milly Santiago by just 131 votes. The results are not yet official, but it appears the alderman, who is also vice mayor of the city, will be out of a job.

    19 Chicago Aldermanic Races Go to Runoff19 Chicago Aldermanic Races Go to Runoff

    With most of the votes tallied, it appeared Wednesday morning that aldermanic campaigns in 19 of Chicago's 50 wards would continue into April. NBC Chicago's Carol Marin reports.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015)

    Suarez is an Emanuel supporter who was backed by the mayor's "Chicago Forward" campaign. Santiago, on the other hand, said she would join the Progressive Caucus in City Council.

    The 10th ward on the Far Southeast Side experienced a similar runoff election. Emanuel supporter and incumbent Ald. John Pope was neck-and-neck with his opponent Susan Sadlowski Garza, but he ended up falling by 44 votes.

    Pope is a known supporter of the mayor, and Sadlowski Garza was aligned with Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Sadlowski Garza and Garcia shortly before the election during a trip to Chicago, further cementing their alignment.

    Four other aldermen suffered similar losses in the election. Ald. Natashia Holmes (7th), Ald. Lona Lane (18th) and Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) were all incumbent aldermen who supported the mayor and then lost to their challengers.

    WATCH: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Victory SpeechWATCH: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Victory Speech

    Rahm Emanuel won his re-election contest Tuesday night and bested challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to remain in charge of Chicago for another four years.
    (Published Tuesday, April 7, 2015)

    If Santiago officially wins in the 31st ward, that will make almost one-third of the aldermanic runoff elections failures for the Emanuel campaign.

    One of the mayor's biggest faults in his campaign was his failure to get on the level of the neighborhoods, at least in the eyes of many of their residents. The aldermanic races are central to neighborhood issues as the aldermen deal directly with residents in the community in the way that a mayor cannot (or usually does not).

    Although Garcia could not win the election, his community ideals were apparent in the aldermanic races. And those ideas will stick around to haunt -- or help -- Emanuel as the new faces of City Council prepare to vote against the mayor.

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the NBC Chicago App

      Download the App

      Available for iOS and Android