Candidates for 48th Ward both backed by unions, established Democrats

Joe Dunne got 26% of the votes in February, compared to 23% for Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth.

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48th Ward candidates Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (left) and Joe Dunne.

48th Ward candidates Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (left) and Joe Dunne

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The two candidates headed for the runoff election in the 48th Ward finished only 500 votes apart on Feb. 28.

Joe Dunne, an affordable housing developer, got 26% of the votes, compared to 23% for Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, a small business owner, in the race to succeed retiring Ald. Harry Osterman, 55.

Walz and Dunne are each backed by labor unions and more established Democrats. Clay and Manaa-Hoppenworth are supported by progressive organizations and by mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson.

Dunne, backed by Osterman and former 48th Ward Ald. Mary Ann Smith, views the runoff as a fresh start. He replaced his campaign manager with Erika Caldwell, who worked for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign.

“I’ve run into people who believe I’ve already won because they didn’t understand the runoff process or just weren’t aware of it,” Dunne said, adding that he brought in a new campaign manager, “so we’ve ramped up our staff and we’re upping our game.”

Manaa-Hoppenworth would be the first Filipina alderperson on the City Council. She said the ward, which includes Andersonville, Edgewater and Uptown, needs an alderperson who reflects its diversity.

“I’m talking to mothers who are walking their kids to school, asking me to please save a date so that I can talk to their Girl Scout troop because they want to hear why I wanted to run,” Manaa-Hoppenworth said. “It’s exciting for young girls to see someone like me, a mother of three children to run for local office, to be involved in a level that not enough women and women of color and queer women of color are represented in.”

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