49th Ward Election: Hadden Ousts Moore by Running to His Left

Critics said Ald. Joe Moore had grown too close to the mayor to still call himself a progressive

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Activist Maria Hadden handily defeated longtime Ald. Joe Moore in Chicago's 49th Ward Tuesday night.

Hadden took 63.8 percent of the vote with 97 percent of precincts reporting, compared to Moore's 36.2 percent as of midnight, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

The race was a battle that got to the very heart of progressivism in Chicago, as Hadden overtook Moore - once an outsider himself - with a challenge from the left.

Moore has represented the ward, encompassing the Rogers Park neighborhood on the city’s North Side, since he claimed victory over former Mayor Richard M. Daley's appointed alderman in 1991.

Under Daley, Moore flexed his progressive muscle - fighting for a living wage ordinance and implementing the first participatory budgeting program in the country. But critics said he had grown too close to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to still call himself a progressive. [[505902811, C]]

Hadden is an activist who touted her previous experience as a board member of The Participatory Budgeting Project, as well as her current work as the founder and director of Our City Our Voice, a nonprofit aimed at increasing democratic participation.

She is also on the board of directors for the Black Youth Project 100, an organization focused on racial justice. She nabbed some big endorsements from the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU and Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, among others. [[504651202, C]]

As with several other wards, the number one issue here was affordable housing - perhaps even more so than in other areas, as Moore chairs the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate.

With just two candidates, there was no chance for a runoff. Moore beat his opponents outright in every election since a 2007 runoff, but come May, Hadden will be the North Side ward's first new alderman in more than 25 years. 

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