In a video posted on Instagram and Facebook Friday afternoon, embattled Ald. Ed Burke announced he’ll still be seeking re-election despite being charged with extortion on Thursday.
“By now I’m certain that you’ve learned of yesterday’s events. I want you, my friends and supporters to know, that I fully intend to seek re-election and I am hopeful that you and my many friends will continue to do the work you already have been doing,” Burke said in an video posted on Facebook and Instagram Friday afternoon.
“I appreciate your help and your support and I want you to know that my family and I want you and your family to have a healthy, and wonderful new year,” Burke says in the video. “May God bless you and your families.”
In the video, Burke is standing in an office next to a Chicago flag.
The powerhouse alderman faces charges of shaking down Burger King executives for business for his law firm as the company sought permits to remodel a fast-food location in Burke’s 14th Ward. Burke has said he’s done nothing wrong. He was released Thursday on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday morning that Burke was stepping down from his position as chairman of the Finance Committee.
Should Burke win re-election, he’ll be part of a dramatically different City Council — becoming one of 50 aldermen with no title.
On Wednesday, Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia endorsed 28-year-old Tanya Patiño to unseat Burke, Chicago’s most powerful and longest-serving alderman. Patino is the girlfriend of Aaron Ortiz, the Garcia-backed political newcomer who defeated Burke’s brother, State Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago), in a primary race dominated by Edward Burke’s property tax reduction work for the riverfront hotel and condominium tower bearing the name of President Donald Trump.
Burke has run unopposed in 10 of the last 11 elections. He now has four challengers and has been targeted since his brother’s primary defeat.
On Wednesday, Garcia was asked whether he expects Burke to drop out of the race if he faced federal charges.
“It’s hard to say. Someone who has been a member of the Council for 50 years may not have considered how to live life differently,” Garcia said.
“He is having deep letting-go issues as it relates to the City Council. It’s what he knows. It’s what’s made him breathe for a long, long time.”
Contributing: Fran Spielman