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West Side incumbent aldermen ahead, but 26th Ward still a close race

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Most aldermen on the city’s West Side were poised to easily hold their seats on the City Council as vote totals were tallied Tuesday night.

But for Ald. Robert Maldonado (26th), the vote count was a bit too close for comfort and an April runoff election was not out of the question.

As of 9:30 p.m., he held just over 50 percent of the vote with 47 of the ward’s 49 precincts reporting.

“It is coming down to the wire, but we are optimistic about things right now,” said Maldonado campaign spokesman Conor Culloton on Tuesday night.

Maldonado was appointed to the City Council in 2009 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley. For the 15 years prior, he served as a Cook County Commissioner.

The 26th Ward covers the gentrified and still-gentrifying Logan Square, West Town and Humboldt Park neighborhoods.

Maldonado also saw the support of organized labor, scoring endorsements from the CTU, AFSCME and SEIU.

Maldonado’s two opponents combined for a little more than 49 percent of the vote as of 9:30 p.m. Theresa Siaw, a community activist, had garnered 28 percent of the vote.

Samantha Frontera, a spokeswoman for Siaw’s campaign, said they were hopeful an April 2 runoff election would be needed.

“We feel confident that we’ll be able to run a really good, clean campaign in the next month,” she said.

Maldonado’s fellow incumbent aldermen, Chris Taliaferro (29th), Jason Ervin (28th), Michael Scott (24th), Emma Mitts (37th) and Walter Burnett (27th), all saw healthy leads in the hours after polls closed.

Burnett had garnered 70 percent of the vote with 45 of the ward’s 50 precincts reporting as of 9:30 p.m., setting him up for his seventh term in the City Council.

He said that he planned to continue focusing on affordable housing and economic activity in the ward, which covers portions of the West Loop, the Near West Side, East Garfield Park and Humboldt Park, as well as parts of the Near North Side.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff going on that we have to complete and we’re going to continue to be the economic engine for the city of Chicago,” Burnett said Tuesday night.

Ervin also saw a strong lead over his three challengers, holding 62 percent of vote in the 28th Ward with 44 of the 46 precincts reporting as of 9:30 p.m.

Ervin was appointed to the City Council in 2011 after serving as village manager of west suburban Maywood. His 28th Ward covers parts of the West Loop, Little Italy, East and West Garfield Park and Austin.

His wife, Melissa Conyears-Ervin, was a candidate for city treasurer in 2019. She appeared to be headed for a runoff for the job against Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), as neither secured 50 percent of the vote in the three-candidate race.

Taliaferro held nearly 60 percent of the vote in the 29th Ward as of 9:30 p.m., with 27 of the ward’s 44 precincts reporting.

The attorney and former sergeant in the Chicago Police Department was elected in 2015 after forcing former Ald. Deborah Graham into a runoff.

The 29th Ward covers swaths of the West Side, including Austin, Galewood and parts of Montclare and Belmont Heights.

Taliaferro secured a host of endorsements from labor groups, including the Chicago Federation of Labor, SEIU Local 73, AFSCME Council 31, the Chicago Teachers Union, the Chicago Firefighters union and the Fraternal Order of Police.

With 39 of 41 precincts reporting in the 24th Ward as of 9:30 p.m., Scott was holding a little more than 60 percent of the vote.

Scott was elected to his first term as 24th Ward alderman in 2015. The ward covers the North Lawndale neighborhood, where Scott grew up.

Prior to his election, he worked for the Chicago Park District, which included time as park supervisor at the Douglas Park Cultural and Community Center.

Scott’s ward covers a particularly violent part of the city, and he has said that economic development in the area is one of his main strategies to tamp down shootings.

Mitts, whose ward covers parts of Austin and West Garfield Park, saw a little more than 54 percent of the vote as of 9 p.m., with 35 of the 41 precincts in the 37th Ward’s reporting as of 9:30 p.m.

Mitts was appointed to the City Council in 2000. Her opponent in Tuesday’s election, CPS teacher Tara Stamps, ran against her in 2015 and forced her into a runoff. Stamps held 40 percent of the vote as of 9:30 p.m.

The Chicago Federation of Labor holds an ownership interest in the Chicago Sun-Times.