Daley nephew (and grandson) to join City Council; Foulkes clings to slim lead
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The Daley family legacy at City Hall will continue into a third generation now that mayoral grandson and nephew Patrick Daley Thompson was elected alderman of the famous clan’s 11th Ward power base Tuesday.
Thompson — whose maternal grandfather was former Mayor Richard J. Daley and who counts ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley among his uncles — easily defeated 26-year-old law student John Kozlar in the runoff, garnering nearly 58 percent of the vote.
But the fact there even had to be a runoff between a Daley family member and such a young, underfunded opponent created a unique spectacle in the heartland of Chicago machine politics.
Not since 1947 had there been a runoff in the 11th Ward, which includes the Bridgeport and Canaryville neighborhoods.
Thompson’s win marked the 17th consecutive election won by a candidate who was slated by the 11th Ward’s Regular Democratic Organization.
In 1951, the ward organization, then led by Richard J. Daley, won back the ward’s City Council seat and has held it tightly since. Its slated candidates had captured an average of more than 75 percent of the vote in the last 11 contested races heading into this year’s election.
At Thompson’s victory party at a union hall, more than 200 supporters ate Italian beef, drank Miller Lite and chanted “PDT” as the election returns came in.
John Daley, Thompson’s uncle and the 11th Ward Democratic organization’s leader, introduced the alderman-elect to the cheering crowd, which included Thompson’s mother, Patricia Daley Martino.
“The [ward’s] boundaries may have changed, but our core family values have stayed the same,” Thompson said.
The path for Thompson to join the Council was cleared by the retirement of longtime 11th Ward Ald. James Balcer.
The political action committee set up to support Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s allies in the Council races strongly supported Thompson — while Richard M. Daley endorsed Emanuel’s re-election bid.
Organized labor groups, including the powerful Service Employees International Union State Council, also backed Thompson in a rare instance of SEIU and the mayor being on the same side.
Still, Thompson could not win an outright majority in the three-way primary election on Feb. 24, forcing the 11th Ward’s precinct captains to work to maintain the ward’s Council seat.
Thompson, 45, is a lawyer who has served on the obscure but influential board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District since winning a seat in 2012, in his first run for office.
He now owns the Bridgeport bungalow where Richard J. Daley and his wife raised Thompson’s mother and their other children.
Another South Sider with a political name — Stephanie Coleman, daughter of former alderman Shirley Coleman — was locked in a tight battle Tuesday with Toni Foulkes in the 16th Ward.
With all but one of 36 precincts reporting, Foulkes led by just 138 votes out of more than 7,000, or a margin of less than 2 percentage points.
Foulkes is a longtime ally of organized labor who was re-mapped out of the 15th Ward, which she has represented since 2007. She decided to run in the 16th Ward, even though she still lives in the 15th.
That set up a fight with 16th Ward Ald. JoAnn Thompson, until Thompson died shortly before the February election.
In Foulkes’ old ward, the ward’s Democratic committeeman, Raymond Lopez, won nearly 58 percent of the vote against Rafael Yanez.
Lopez got campaign contributions from Emanuel, mayoral friend Michael Sacks and a political fund tied to Ald. Edward Burke (14th), state records show. Yanez had the backing of the SEIU and the Chicago Teachers Union.
In the 20th Ward, Ald. Willie Cochran won a third term with nearly 56 percent of the vote against Kevin Bailey.