Ward Room's Election Night Rundown

It was back to the voting booth Tuesday for 14 Chicago wards sent to runoffs back in February.

Though Chicago's Board of Election Commissioners says turnout traditionally isn't as strong for runoff elections, millions of dollars were spent on campaigns.

*Jump to Latest Updates

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel kicked in more than $300 million to back 10 candidates, most of whom veteran 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke also supports.

In February's election, Chicago chose Emanuel as the next mayor and voted in six new aldermen.

Voters cast their ballots Tuesday to decide four-year terms for those who will make up Emanuel's City Council.  Runoff elections were held in the following wards: 6th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 36th, 38th, 41st, 43rd, 45th, 46th and 50th.

Several races were hotly contested, including the 50th ward, where long-time Ald. Berny Stone ran against Emanuel-supported candidate Debra Silverstein, the wife of state senator and ward committeeman Ira Silverstein. Last week, Stone held a press conference about Emanuel funding fliers that attacked him for allegedly voting in favor of the parking meter deal.

Among other high-profile races, Ald. Willie Cochran, a former police officer, ran against Chicago rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith in the 20th ward. In the 6th, Roderick Sawyer, whose father was Interim Mayor Eugene Sawyer, was up against Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, appointed by Mayor Richard Daley in 1998. 

The Latest Updates on Tuesday's election

10:30 p.m.
-- Ald. Willie Cochran says he's victorious over rapper Che "Rhymfest" Smith, but Smith's campaign tells the Chicago Sun-Times the race "will not be decided tonight."

9:40 p.m. -- Surburban Races:  In Joliet, Tom Giarrante defeats Warren Dorris for mayor.  In Naperville, incumbent A. George Pradel defeats Donald P. Krause for mayor.  And in Schaumburg, Alan Larson has defeated Brian Costin for mayor. [More Suburban Election Results...]

9:35 p.m. --
Cuahutemoc Morfin may not have won his race against incumbent Ald. Danny Solis, but he's celebrating the fact that his campaign pressured Solis to change his mind on the Clean Power Ordinance.  [Read More...]

9:30 p.m.
-- Incumbent Ald. Danny Solis survives a challenge from Cuahutemoc Morfin, retains power in Pilsen. [Read More...]

9:20 p.m.
-- In the 16th Ward, incumbent Ald. JoAnn Thompson retains her seat with win over Hal Baskin, who was arrested earlier in the evening. [Election Results...]

9:19 p.m.
-- Freddrenna Lyle falls to challenger Roderick Sawyer in the 6th Ward.  Just 124 votes separated them. [Election Results...]

9:15 p.m.
-- With 100 percent of precincts reporting, James Cappleman defeats Molly Phelan with a 10 percentage point lead in the 46th Ward aldermanic race.  [Election Results...]

8:30 p.m. -- In the 46th Ward, which covers Uptown, it looks like James Cappleman will replace outgoing alderwoman Helen Shiller.  During February's primary, Cappleman received just five more votes than Molly Phelan. [Election Results...]

8:25 p.m. --
Debra Silverstein is celebrating her win over Berny Stone.  Her husband, State Sen. Ira Silverstein introduces "the new alderman from the 50th Ward."  Someone in the crowd yells that it's "time for Berny to go to Florida."  Debra Silverstein expresses gratitude to mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

8:15 p.m. -- Stone concedes.  "It's over.  I loved it," he says.  [Read more...]

8:10 p.m. --
Ald. Berny Stone (50th) looks to be conceding in his race to Debra Silverstein, but not without first lodging harsh words her way.  He says she's an "empty shell" and a "know nothing."

8:02 p.m.
-- Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel will "give congratulatory calls and let everyone know he looks forward to working with them," says press secretary Tarrah Cooper.

7:50 p.m.
-- Ald. Will Cochran (20th) may be keeping his seat.  His challenger, Che "Rhymefest" Smith is roughly 150 votes behind, with 62 percent of precincts reporting.

7:47 p.m. --
Chicago's 6th Ward may be getting a new alderman.  With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Roderick Sawyer leads Freddrenna Lyle.

7:44 p.m. --
In the 43rd Ward, Tim Egan and Michele Smith are neck-in-neck, with 64 percent of precincts reporting.

7:40 p.m. --
Early returns indicate that Ald. Berny Stone (50th) may be out of a job after serving 37 years in the Chicago City Council.  With 66 percent of precincts reporting, his challenger Debra Silverstein has more than 1,500 votes.

7 p.m.
-- Polls have closed.  Returns are expected to begin rolling in shortly.

5 p.m. -- Hal Baskin, a candidate for 16th Ward alderman was arrested for assaulting election judges in the 37th ward.  [Read more...]  The campaign is expected to hold a press event later this evening to discuss the "wrongful arrest," according to a statement.

4:50 p.m. -- Election officials said the runoff election cost the city $4-6 million.  Results are expected to come in fairly quickly.  Roughly 80-90 percent of the votes should be tallied by 8:30 p.m., unless any particular precinct is a "straggler," said Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal. 

3 p.m. -- Voter turnout throughout the area is said to be "really low." [Read more...]

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