New faces from South Side head to City Council runoffs, while three incumbents hold on

Incumbents Michelle Harris (8th), Anthony Beale (9th) and Jeanette Taylor (20th) had comfortable leads Tuesday evening. With a wide field of candidates, at least some races are expected to be headed to the April 4 runoff.

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State Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr., who is running for alderman of the 4th Ward, shares a laugh with a supporter outside Canter Middle School in Kenwood on Election Day.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Even as three incumbents held wide leads over challengers Tuesday, there will be at least five new faces in the Chicago City Council representing the South Side.

Incumbents Michelle Harris (8th), Anthony Beale (9th) and Jeanette Taylor (20th) each faced two challengers, but all three had comfortable leads over their opponents Tuesday night.

With a wide field of candidates, at least some races are expected to be headed to the April 4 runoff, preliminary returns show. Candidates had to garner at least 50% of the vote in Tuesday’s election to win outright.

Half of 10 South Side wards were open seats, with Ald. Sophia King (4th) and Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) both running unsuccessfully for mayor, and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th), Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) choosing not to seek re-election.

Desmon Yancy, endorsed by Hairston for the 5th Ward seat, led with 26% of the vote over Martina Hone, who had about 18%, with almost all the precincts reporting.

Shortly after the polls closed, Yancy leaned over a computer that showed the 51-year-old community organizer with an early lead in the 5th Ward. About 50 of his supporters cheered and took pictures as James Brown’s “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” pulsed through the storefront office in South Shore.

Eleven people were on the ballot to replace Hairston in the 5th Ward, which includes Hyde Park, South Shore, West Woodlawn and Greater Grand Crossing.

In the 4th Ward, Lamont Robinson led with about 46% of the vote over Prentice Butler, who had nearly 15%, and Ebony Lucas, who had more than 14%, with all precincts reporting.

Robinson, 40, is a state legislator and Chatham native. He leads the race in fundraising and has endorsements from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“I think that the city needs some new leadership,” Robinson said Tuesday night. “Our No. 1 issue in the 4th Ward is public safety. No. 2 is economic development. But they go together.”

Seven candidates set out to replace King, who was appointed alderwoman in 2016. The 4th Ward includes Bronzeville, Hyde Park and Kenwood.

In the 6th Ward, William Hall led with 24% over Richard Wooten, who had about 23% - with almost all precincts reporting.

Eleven candidates were on the ballot to succeed Sawyer, who has represented the ward - which includes Chatham, Park Manor and Grand Crossing - since 2011.

In the 10th Ward, two-term Ald. Garza announced in September she wouldn’t seek re-election, setting up a competition among five candidates.

The 10th Ward is heavily industrial and has never bounced back after the steel mills closed decades ago. The area includes South Chicago, South Deering, East Side and Hegewisch.

Peter Chico, a Chicago police officer and cousin to former mayoral candidate Gery Chico, led the five-person race with 41% over Ana Guajardo, a labor and immigrants rights activist who had nearly 27%. Guajardo is endorsed by U.S. Rep. and mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

In the 21st Ward, with all precincts reporting, Ronnie Mosley had about 25% of the votes and was in a close race with Cornell Dantzler, who had 22%, and Preston Brown Jr., with about 19%. In all, seven candidates were on the ballot to replace Brookins, a 20-year alderman.

The 21st Ward includes Auburn Gresham and parts of Chatham, Roseland and Washington Heights.

Incumbent Harris jumped out to a big early lead, with 71% of the vote, over challengers Linda Hudson and Sean Flynn, with almost all of precincts reporting.

Beale also led his two challengers, Cleopatra Draper and Cameron Barnes, with 60% of the vote and all precincts reported.

Taylor led her opponents, Jennifer Maddox and Andre Smith, with about 53% of the vote and just over 90% of the precincts reporting.

In the 7th Ward, Ald. Greg Mitchell was unopposed, as was David Moore in the 17th.

Brett Chase’s reporting on the environment and public health is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust. Mariah Rush is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.

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