Ald. Ed Burke, Shadowed by Corruption Charge, Defends Run For Re-Election in Exclusive NBC 5, Telemundo Interview

In court Thursday, Burke was given a $10,000 bond and was ordered to surrender his passport and the 23 firearms the government said he had in his possession

Even though he faces a federal complaint, Ald. Ed Burke is running for re-election--and he defended himself Wednesday in an exclusive interview with Telemundo and NBC 5.

Burke says he thinks his record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Earlier today he sat down with Telemundo and even spoke a little Spanish that's he been brushing up on as he fights for his political survival.

Burke said his record is clear on supporting immigration.

"I've also been a strong supporter as a sanctuary city," he said.

Since the November raid by the FBI at Burke's 14th Ward and City Hall offices -- he has not spoken at length to reporters about the extortion charges.

"I think the people here know me," he said. "They know that I have a solid record of accomplishment and integrity."

Burke faces two opponents -- Jaime Guzman and Tanya Patino -- both speak fluent Spanish -- in a ward that is predominately Hispanic. Last year, Burke's brother, state Rep. Dan Burke, lost his election after 28 years in the General Assembly.

Despite the federal charges -- Burke is leaving it up to the voters and notes he's the one who is leading a renaissance to his neighborhood.

"48th and Western will be the site of the new Chicago Park District," he said.

The federal cloud over Burke may play a role in the mayor's election as four of the candidates have been labeled the Burke Four because of their connections to him. He was asked Wednesday if he's spoken lately to another alderman facing a federal investigation: Danny Solis.

"No, I don't think anyone has," he said with a laugh.

Of course it all comes down to turnout. So far early voting in the 14th Ward has been very low, in the first two days of early voting, less than 100 voters have cast their ballots compared to busier wards with nearly 500 voters.

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