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Ortíz, Martinez battling for state representative seat once held by Ed Burke’s brother

The battle in the Southwest Side 1st District state House race boiled down to the incumbent who once defeated powerful Ald. Ed Burke’s brother to the challenger the Burkes had groomed.

Alicia Elena Martinez, Illinois House 1st district Democratic primary candidate, left and incumbent Aaron Ortiz met with the Sun-Times Editorial Board Monday, February 10, 2020.
Alicia Elena Martinez, Illinois House 1st district Democratic primary candidate, left and incumbent Aaron Ortiz met with the Sun-Times Editorial Board Monday, February 10, 2020.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

The battle in the Southwest Side 1st District state representative race boiled down to the incumbent who once defeated powerful Ald. Ed Burke’s brother to the challenger the Burkes had groomed.

With about 46% of precincts reporting, state Rep. Aarón Ortíz was winning the fight. Ortiz was leading the race 58.1% to 41.9% over challenger Alicia Elena Martinez.

Ortíz is a former local school council member and college and career coach at Back of the Yards College Prep. Among his legislative achievements was directing $900,000 from last year’s capital bill to Curie High School in Archer Heights to pay for building improvements. Other schools in his district also benefited from the bill.

Ortíz defeated Burke’s brother, Dan, two years ago in the 1st District Democratic primary.

Martinez came up in the ward organization of longtime Ald. Burke (14th), who is facing federal corruption charges. Martinez campaigned for Burke in his successful aldermanic race last year.