Ald. Nicole Lee hangs onto 11th Ward seat, as challenger Ciaravino concedes

With all precincts reporting, Lee held 62% of the vote compared to her challenger Anthony Ciaravino’s 38%.

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Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) at Robert Healy Elementary School at 3010 S. Parnell Ave., Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) at Robert Healy Elementary School at 3010 S. Parnell Ave., Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Complete coverage of the local and national primary and general election, including results, analysis and voter resources to keep Chicago voters informed.

Incumbent Ald. Nicole Lee held onto her 11th Ward seat Tuesday night as her opponent, Anthony Ciaravino, conceded not long after the polls closed.

With all of the precincts reporting the unofficial results showed Lee had received 62% of the vote, while Ciaravino garnered 38%.

Those numbers could change as mail-in ballots continue to trickle in, but they appear unlikely to challenge Lee’s commanding lead.

Addressing his supporters at the Stockyards Garage, Ciaravino said, “It’s not easy, I wasn’t prepared to make a concession speech tonight ... [but] we did some amazing things.”

Lee, the first woman of Asian descent to serve as on the City Council, would also be the first alderperson elected to represent a majority Asian ward in Chicago — a long-sought goal of Chinatown leaders.

“I’m so proud that our community answered the call that we fought hard to get a remap and a map that had an Asian majority ward, and that gave us the opportunity,” Lee told WBEZ Tuesday night.

Lee campaigned on that dream, telling the Sun-Times in an interview last month that if she was elected to represent the newly drawn 11th Ward, Asian American voters would have a political voice for the first time in the city’s 185-year history.

“People who are citizens who have never voted before in their 90s were coming out,” Lee said. “People who had every right to vote, but they didn’t have a reason to before. Now they do, and this is why representation is so important.”

The race was both a test of the legacy of the Daley family and their political influence in the ward and the ward’s new Asian majority, which was created through redistricting last year that trimmed areas of Canaryville and East Pilsen from the ward map.

Lee was appointed last year by Mayor Lori Lightfoot following the resignation of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson after he pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion charges. She was supported in the race by the Daley family.

Mayor Richard M. Daley and his brother, Cook County Commissioner John Daley, both supported Lee for the seat, holding fundraisers on her behalf. Lee’s father, Gene Lee, had served as an aide to the former mayor.

Candidate to represent the 11th Ward, Tony Ciaravino, greets friends with his wife, Michelle, before voting at Taylor-Lauridsen Park in Chicago Tuesday.

Candidate to represent the 11th Ward, Tony Ciaravino, greets friends with his wife, Michelle, before voting at Taylor-Lauridsen Park in Chicago Tuesday.

Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun Times

“The 11th Ward was remapped ... We knew it was a tall hill to climb, and I thought we climbed it very well,” Ciaravino told a Sun-Times reporter after his concession.

Ciaravino, a white Chicago police officer, had his own connections to the Bridgeport machine.

Depositions in a city lawsuit showed Ciaravino was previously assigned to Mayor Daley’s security detail, and he received financial backing from longtime Daley supporters Fred B. Barbara, a trucking and waste-hauling magnate, and Joseph Feldman, a developer and former publisher of the Bridgeport News.

Ciaravino was also supported by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the union that represents most rank-and-file Chicago police officers, and he leaned heavily on his experience as an officer to try and persuade voters to put their safety in his hands.

The two candidates had finished neck-and-neck with about 30% of the vote each in the February election, leading to Tuesday’s runoff, where it appeared Lee was able to consolidate much of the vote that had previously gone to other challengers who were knocked off in the first round of voting.

How the 11th Ward voted for mayor


Lamont Robinson wins in 4th Ward

In the 4th Ward race to replace Ald. Sophia King, whose seat was left open when she unsuccessfully ran for mayor, state Rep. Lamont Robinson claimed victory.

As music from his election night party pulsed through the lobby of the Hyatt Place in Hyde Park, Robinson said his opponent Prentice Butler had called him to concede.

“The defining factor [in the race] is the work that I’ve been doing since 2009,” Robinson said, adding that he believed the result came down to who voters believed had more experience.

4th ward aldermanic candidates Prentice Butler, left, and Lamont Robinson.

4th Ward aldermanic candidates Prentice Butler, left, and Lamont Robinson.

Eva Ho Photography and Sun-Times files

With all precincts reporting, Robinson had 67% of the vote to Butler’s 33%.

As the Associated Press called the mayoral race for Brandon Johnson, Robinson described the night as “history” and “a new day in the city of Chicago.”

Reached by phone, Butler, who served as chief of staff to Ald. King, acknowledged his concession, saying “I’ve enjoyed the last 12 years of service to the community and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”

In the 5th Ward, community organizer Desmon Yancy was leading lawyer Martina Hone to succeed retiring Ald. Leslie Hairston.

With all precincts reporting, Yancy held a slight lead over Horne, 52% to 48%; less than 400 votes separated the two candidates — and more than 1,700 mail-in ballots still need to be counted as of Monday night.

Desmon Yancy, who is running for alderman of the 5th Ward, interacts with residents before voting on Election Day outside Isabelle C. O’Keeffe School in the South Shore neighborhood, Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

Desmon Yancy, who is running for alderman of the 5th Ward, interacts with residents before voting on Election Day outside Isabelle C. O’Keeffe School in the South Shore neighborhood, Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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