19th Ward Sees Highest Early Voter Turnout in Chicago

In the race for mayor of Chicago, turnout for early voting is far below what elections officials had expected.

However the 19th Ward, with the highest participation so far, is home to one of the mayoral candidates: Jerry Joyce.

Joyce comes from a political family but he is not well known outside of the 19th Ward.

Still, his strategy has been to reach out directly to voters, especially those who vote no matter what.

A drive through the streets of Beverly makes it clear there is strong support for their neighbor Joyce for mayor.

His direct mail promotes his family. His wife Janine, a pediatrician, is his top donor giving more than $1.4 million to his campaign.

"I stand behind Jerry 1,000 percent," she said.

Her top concern? Gun violence.

"It's not just the victims who are shot, the 1-year-old a mile-and-a-half from here that was killed in the backseat of his grandma's car, that's terrible that he was killed in that way, but there's so many ripple effects of that," she said.

Early voting so far is below expectations. Election Day is just one week away. Joyce's 19th Ward has had more early voters than any other ward.

While Joyce--an attorney and former prosecutor--is a first time candidate, he's the son of Jeremiah Joyce--who was an alderman and state senator. Will the crowd that showed up at his fundraiser translate into an Election Day headline: Joyce makes the run off?

"It won't surprise me," he said. "I anticipate that to be the headline."

Also hoping to upset the status quo is Amara Enyia. She notes that Toni Preckwinkle has refused to release her campaign schedule or conduct interviews.

"Those in power may think that they have already won, but it is time for new leadership, the people of this city have made that very clear," she said.

Enyia will participate Tuesday night in the final televised debate on WTTW with Gery Chico, Lori Lightfoot, Garry McCarthy and Lashawn Ford.

There's a rally planned for Preckwinkle Tuesday night at the Chicago Teachers Union. NBC 5 learned she will take reporters questions for the first time in nearly a month.

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