Villegas likely to take committeeperson seat; race for state House seat narrows

David Feller, an assistant to the undersheriff in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, announced Thursday he’s also dropping out of the race to permanently replace former Rep. Luis Arroyo.

SHARE Villegas likely to take committeeperson seat; race for state House seat narrows
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) chats with other aldermen before the Chicago City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th)

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Ald. Gilbert Villegas’s name will stand alone on the ballot for committeeperson in the 36th Ward now that another opponent has dropped out.

David Feller, an assistant to the undersheriff in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, announced Thursday he’s dropping out of that race and the race to permanently replace former Rep. Luis Arroyo in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Jacqueline Baez is running as a write-in candidate for the committeeperson seat against Villegas, who serves as Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s floor leader.

Feller is throwing his support behind Nidia Carranza, a schoolteacher and CTU member, in the state House race. He said he will work to help Carranza win the March primary.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Feller said the “outpouring of support by my neighbors and friends from across the 3rd District during the short tenure of this campaign has been humbling.”

“I was born and raised in this neighborhood and still live in the home my parents bought in 1962,” Feller’s statement read in part. “I entered this race because I have always cared deeply about and have been dedicated to improving my neighborhood. … I am withdrawing as a candidate so that I can focus my efforts on electing a candidate who will be the positive change we need so badly.”

A shuffle for the two seats began when Arroyo was hit with a federal bribery charge in October and subsequently resigned from the Illinois House.

Arroyo sought to pick his replacement for both the committeeperson seat and his House seat despite a call from leaders of the Cook County Democratic Party to step down.

Arroyo held onto the committeeperson seat and, when it came time to pick his replacement, gave his voting power to Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) to select Eva-Dina Delgado to serve the rest of Arroyo’s term in the House.

Delgado now faces Carranza and Joaquin Vazquez in the March primary for a full term in the House.

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