43rd Ward appears headed for a runoff, while 1st Ward Ald. La Spata’s lead may not be enough to avoid a second round there too

They were the exceptions in a night that otherwise went largely in the favor of sitting City Council members on the North and Northwest sides.

SHARE 43rd Ward appears headed for a runoff, while 1st Ward Ald. La Spata’s lead may not be enough to avoid a second round there too
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), pictured at a May 2022 City Hall news conference, held a large lead Tuesday night to retain his seat — but could still face a runoff depending on the return of outstanding mail ballots.

Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), pictured at a May 2022 City Hall news conference, held a large lead Tuesday night to retain his seat — but could still face a runoff depending on the return of outstanding mail ballots.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

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

Ald. Daniel La Spata was maintaining a wide lead in the 1st Ward race Tuesday night but it wasn’t clear if the far left City Council member would be able to prevent a runoff election.

And another North Side incumbent — Ald. Timmy Knudsen, appointed to the 43rd Ward post last year by outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot — also appeared headed to a second round of voting.

They were the exceptions on a night that otherwise went largely in the favor of sitting City Council members on the North and Northwest sides.

La Spata led with 49.2% of the vote with 96% of precincts reporting, but there were more than 4,400 mail ballots that could still make their way in.

Running a distant second was attorney Sam Royko, son of the legendary Chicago columnist Mike Royko, who had 23.8% of the vote. Preservationist Stephen “Andy” Schneider had 19.3%.

Disgraced ex-Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno’s political comeback attempt fell well short as he trailed with 7.7% of the vote.

A cheery crowd of La Spata supporters gathered at Subterranean in West Town, dancing to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and applauding positive results for mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson — who’s backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, like La Spata is.

The incumbent told supporters that whether or not he nets the overall majority to win outright, “we’re gonna find those votes, and I’m going to continue serving and being your alderman in the 1st Ward.”

“We’re doing big things and there’s really big things to come,” La Spata said. “But we also proved that we can take on all of the hate and anger and malice and violence and noise, and still run a really winning campaign.”

In the affluent 43rd Ward, Knudsen held 27% of the vote with all precincts reporting but nearly 3,700 mail ballots outstanding. Sheffield Neighborhood Association president Brian C. Comer trailed with 24.3% of the vote.

On the outside looking in was retired attorney Rebecca Janowitz, who ran one of the most expensive aldermanic races in Chicago history with $750,000 of her own fortune. She had 19.5%.

Marketing executive Wendi Taylor Nations had 13.3%, followed by the Fraternal Order of Police-endorsed Steve Botsford with 9.2% and entrepreneur Steve McClellan with 6.6%.

A few dozen Knudsen supporters packed the second floor of Blue Door Farm Stand in Lincoln Park, an intimate setting with a small food buffet in the center and an open bar in the corner.

Saying he anticipated a runoff with Comer, Knudsen said “we are going to keep knocking doors, making calls.

“What we’ve created is so positive, so good and important. Youngest person on City Council right now,” Knudsen said to applause.

43rd Ward Ald. Timmy Knudsen exits the Old Town Triangle Association after voting in Chicago, Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

43rd Ward Ald. Timmy Knudsen exits the Old Town Triangle Association after voting in Chicago, Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun Times

At his own celebration, Comer said he was “excited” to be “one step closer to bringing independence and a collaborative voice back to the aldermanic seat.”

In the race to replace outgoing 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman, community organizer Angela Clay, backed by the CTU, led with 35.1% of the vote and all precincts reporting. About 3,800 mail ballots could still come in, though.

In line for the runoff was business executive Kim Walz, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley who was backed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other heavyweight Illinois Democrats. Walz was carrying 26.1% of the vote.

In the six-person race in the 46th, the other candidates in double digits were Marianne Lalonde, an energy efficiency consultant reprising her 2019 race that forced Cappleman into a runoff. She had 17.2% over former federal prosecutor Patrick Nagle at 12%.

In the 10-candidate scramble to replace outgoing 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman, affordable housing developer Joe Dunne appeared headed to a runoff with community organizer Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth.

Dunne had 27.4% of the vote with all precincts reporting and nearly 3,500 mail ballots outstanding. Manaa-Hoppenworth, vying to become the city’s first Filipina alderperson, had 21.5%.

The CTU-backed arts administrator Nick Ward had 18.5%. The only other candidate in double digits, Isaac Freilich Jones, was netting 10.2%.

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez led in her bid for a second term in the 33rd Ward, with 53.1% of the vote and all precincts reporting.

But with nearly 2,300 outstanding mail ballots, a runoff wasn’t out of the question against zoning project coordinator Samie Martinez, who was endorsed by U.S. Rep Jesus “Chuy” Garcia as well as the FOP. Martinez had 35.5% of the vote.

Another 33rd Ward candidate, finance worker Laith Shaaban, garnered 11.3%.

Three other North Side council members appeared headed to comfortable victories with all precincts reporting.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) led with almost 78% of the vote, Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) had almost 73% and Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) had about 68%.

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