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Daley wins, Shiller in run- off; Election night offers few surprises

This article shared 5452 times since Wed Mar 3, 1999
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Appeared in Outlines*

by P.J. Engelbrecht

Richard M. Daley roared to a resounding victory last week, winning his third term as mayor in Chicago¬'s first- ever non- partisan election.

Daley polled a remarkable 72% of the vote Feb. 23 to beat back his sole challenger, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D- 2nd.

"Today, people from every community said they want us to continue to work together as one city in which everyone has a voice and no one is left behind, and we will," Daley said shortly after 10 p.m. election night. "Making a difference requires all of us."

The 56- year- old mayor assembled an impressive coalition of voters in his successful re- election bid. In fact, Daley garnered more than 44% of Chicago¬'s African- American vote. Rush¬'s only electoral strongholds were on the far West and the mid- South Sides. City- wide turn- out was predictably light at 44%.

"It seems as though I have lost this election, but I want you to know I don¬'t consider myself a loser," Rush said in a Tuesday night concession some observers called the best speech of his failed candidacy. "This wasn¬'t the right time," Rush added philosophically.

Daley ran on his record and refused to debate Rush. In personal appearances and slick TV ads, Daley emphasized his administration¬'s nationally recognized school reforms, redevelopment ( particularly Downtown ) , jobs and neighborhood beautification.

Post- election, the pundits suggested that Daley had won partly by riding the tidal wave of late ?s prosperity. But he also got credit for doing a good job. The LGBT community is just one constituency Daley has worked hard to bring over to his side-from supporting, even decreeing LGBT- positive municipal ordinances to designating the world¬'s first lesbigay neighborhood through the Halsted Streetscape Project he initiated.

Improving community policing, partly through CAPS and beat patrols, is on Daley¬'s agenda for his next term, he promised. Community safety and hate crimes prevention are key issues in the LGBT community, and Daley indicated his awareness of the problem when he addressed an LGBT campaign rally in January.

Rush, 52, ran a lackluster, seemingly disorganized and financially hamstrung campaign. His $314,000 budget was no match for the Mayor¬'s reported $5.6 million war chest. With little advertising and no debates, Rush had trouble getting the public¬'s attention through media exposure. His LGBT outreach was inconsistent, despite his gay- positive record.

With his campaign focused on "equality and justice," Rush tried to ignite interest in such issues as police corruption and brutality, CTA service problems during the January blizzard, even parking enforcement, but he was unable to excite a strong progressive coalition like that which swept Harold Washington to power in the ?s.

"That movement, although faint, is still alive," Rush reassured supporters, "and it will continue to reinvent itself and grow and be the kind of movement that will help lead both Chicago¬'s [ i.e., Black and white ] down the path toward equality."

Santos hangs on

Despite a 12- count federal indictment hanging over her head, incumbent City Treasurer Miriam Santos pulled out a slim electoral victory, nosing past CTA General Auditor Dorothy Brown by a 52% to 48% margin. Santos was the first and remains the only Hispanic ever elected to citywide office.

"I have made enemies standing up for you," Santos told supporters during her election night victory speech, "but the struggle has been worth it every single time." She thanked voters for rewarding her experience, professionalism and "personal integrity" with a third full term.

"This is not the last you¬'ve seen of Dorothy Brown," the novice pol promised her own backers after the narrow defeat ended her first run for public office. Observers are already mulling over whether Brown might be the Daley appointee if Santos were to leave office. Both women are CPAs with law degrees.

The Treasurer¬'s trial is scheduled for April 14. She¬'s accused of shaking down city financial contractors and brokers for campaign contributions during her unsuccessful run for Illinois Attorney General. Santos has adamantly maintained her innocence.

Some pundits have suggested that Santos¬' Jan. 27 indictment was politically motivated. The Treasurer was originally appointed by Daley in 1989, but they had a falling out in 1991 over patronage hiring. A "self- styled reformer," Santos refused to knuckle under.

The treasurer and the Mayor have worked out an uneasy truce in the years since, but Santos notes that she has maintained control over the Treasurer¬'s office, which "oversees $2.5 billion in assets."

A long- time friend of the LGBT community, Santos appointed Laurie Dittman deputy treasurer, making Dittman the highest ranking gay in city government. Santos was a late arrival at a mayoral leadership breakfast last fall where city officials addressed the problem of anti- gay hate crimes.

Santos told Outlines then, and has since reiterated, that she seeks ways to combat discrimination even through her ( admittedly narrowly focused ) office, e.g., by disseminating educational messages on check stubs, and by participating in the Horizons "Blow the Whistle" campaign.

A grinning Michael Bauer appeared in election night TV coverage of the Santos victory party at Cubby Bear Lounge, 1059 W. Addison, standing directly behind her on the crowded dais. Bauer is a well- known LGBT community activist- philanthropist.

Incumbent City Clerk James Laski was unopposed for re- election. He, too, has promised to work against anti- gay discrimination, for instance, by speaking out against hate crimes during appearances around the city.

Aldermanic run- offs in 9 wards

Chicago¬'s first "free- for- all" nonpartisan aldermanic contests yielded a few surprises. Freshly indicted on bribery charges, incumbent Percy Giles captured 53% of the vote in the 37th Ward to win re- election outright.

In the 46th Ward, the City Council¬'s only independent, gay- positive Ald. Helen Shiller faces a run- off April 14 against top challenger Sandra Reed, a teacher and Ward Democratic Committeeman. Shiller reportedly was targeted for defeat by the Democratic machine. In an historic all- woman field, Shiller fell just 88 votes shy of re- election, polling 49% to Reed¬'s 21%, Katharine Nathan was close behind with 20%, and Cindi Anderson trailed with 10%. Candidates needed 50% plus one vote to avoid a runoff. The lakefront 46th covers Uptown and part of Lakeview.

In the 5th Ward, incumbent Ald. Barbara Holt will duel with Leslie Hairston in a run- off. Holt led the six- candidate field with 44% of the vote; Hairston netting 30%. Both are gay- friendly, with identical 28 of 31 ratings on the Outlines candidates survey. Sandra Williams- Bey ( 27 of 31 ) led the also- rans with 8%. The 5th encompasses South Side lakefront neighborhood Hyde Park and surrounds.

Gay- positive incumbent Ald. Bernie Hansen ( 77% ) defeated young Kai Abelkis ( 23% ) in the 44th Ward, which includes Boys Town. Gay- positive Ald. Mary Ann Smith ( 79% ) downed challenger Marvin Robinson ( 21% ) in the lakefront 48th Ward, which includes "Lesbianville."

Gay- friendly Ald. Toni Preckwinkle ( 60% ) won her mid- South lakefront 4th Ward contest with Charles Williams ( 22% ) and Kwame Raoul ( 18% ) . Council speaker pro tem and African- American Daley backer Ald. Lorraine Dixon retained her 8th Ward seat with 68%. Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. ( 77% ) easily survived a rancorous 27th Ward campaign against near- West Side State Sen. Rickey Hendon.

In the 32nd Ward, Dem machine Ald. Ted Matlak-a Daley appointee just last May- quelled progressive feminist runner- up Lorna Brett, Peter Donoghue and Richard Eilenberger to win the seat for himself. Though a gay- baiting campaign incident just before the election raised questions about the Daley protege¬'s "fit" with the administration¬'s LGBT- positive program, Matlak won his first real term with 54%; Brett led the challengers with 32%. But even the young pol¬'s victory remarks were Daley- esque.

In the 26th Ward, Ald. Billy Ocasio ( 54% ) prevailed over Ray Rubio ( 42% ) and Royland "Roy" Ocasio ( 4% ) -election day, a Rubio campaign worker was arrested after an altercation with U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez ( a Billy Ocasio supporter ) in a polling place. In the 43rd Ward, Dem party functionary Vi Daley ( 66% ) defeated GOP cybermerchant Chris Cleveland ( 34% ) , winning her retired boss¬'s seat for herself.

Unopposed incumbent aldermen returning to the City Council include Frank Olivo ( 13th Ward ) , Ed Burke ( 14th ) , Terry Peterson ( 17th ) , Michael Zalewski ( 23rd ) , William Banks ( 36th ) , Thomas Allen ( 38th ) , Patrick O¬'Connor ( 40th ) , Patrick Levar ( 45th ) , Gene Schulter ( 47th ) and Bernard Stone ( 50th ) .

Other winners of contested Council seats were Madeline Haithcock ( 2nd Ward ) , Freddrenna Lyle ( 6th ) , Dorothy Tillman ( 3rd ) , William Beavers ( 7th ) , James Balcer ( 11th ) , "Ray" Frias ( 12th ) , Thomas Murphy ( 18th ) , Virginia Rugai ( 19th ) , Arenda Troutman ( 20th ) , Ricardo Munoz ( 22nd ) , Michael Chandler ( 24th ) , Dan Solis ( 25th ) .

More aldermanic winners: Ed Smith ( 28th ) , Michael Wojcik ( 30th ) , Ray Suarez ( 31st ) , Richard Mell ( 33rd ) , Carrie Austin ( 34th ) , Vilma Colom ( 35th ) , Margaret Laurino ( 39th ) , Burton Natarus ( 42nd ) and Joe Moore ( 50th ) . The Council¬'s only Republican, Brian Doherty, represents the 41st Ward.

The nine run- offs will be decided April 14: 1st Ward, Ald. Jesse Granato ( 44% ) vs. Cynthia Soto ( 36% ) ; 9th Ward, Ald. Robert Shaw¬'s son, Herbert Shaw ( 31% ) vs. Anthony Beale ( 26% ) ; 10th Ward, Dem machine candidate John Pope ( 38% ) vs. Robert Wisz ( 31% ) .

Emerging from the dozen candidates in the 15th Ward, Ted Thomas ( 22% ) vs. Carlos Hemphill Sr. ( 14% ) ; 16th Ward, Rush- backing Ald. Shirley Coleman ( 41% ) vs. Hal Baskin ( 26% ) ; 21st Ward, Leonard DeVille ( 44% ) vs. apparent 2nd- placer Denby Barrow ( 17% ) ; and 29th Ward Ald. Sam Burrell was the only incumbent defeated-there, Isaac "Ike" Carothers ( 41% ) runs on, vs. Floyd Thomas ( 17% ) .

* Lambda Publications, The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,1115 W. Belmont 2D, Chicago, IL 60657; PH ( 773 ) 871-7610; FAX ( 773 ) 871-7609. See Outlines, Nightlines, Out Resource Guide, Clout! Business Report, Blacklines and En La Vida on the web at

This article shared 5452 times since Wed Mar 3, 1999
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