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Ald. Nicholas Sposato to Run for 38th Ward Alderman

By Heather Cherone | August 5, 2014 11:25am | Updated on August 5, 2014 9:12pm
  Ald. Nicholas Sposato's 36th Ward was redrawn under a the new City Council map.
Sposato to Run for 38th Ward Alderman
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DUNNING — Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th) announced Tuesday he would run for 38th Ward alderman to represent Portage Park and Dunning on the City Council. 

Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) announced July 16 that he would not run for re-election, clearing the way for Sposato to run for what was known as the "Cullerton seat" for decades.

The new City Council ward map redrew the 36th Ward to include a majority of Latino voters, making Sposato's political future there uncertain. The 38th Ward now includes parts of Portage Park and all of Dunning — nearly half of what was in the old 36th Ward.

"The 36th Ward is not what it used to be," Sposato said as friends and supporters gathered in the backyard of his Montclare ward office and sipped beer and pop while eating hot dogs. "It was a tough decision. I thought about it a lot."

Heather Cherone says Sposato is the clear favorite early in the race:

Sposato, whose Buick SUV sports the license plate "36," said Cullerton's retirement made his decision to run in the 38th Ward easier.

Sposato made his announcement at his office at 6936 W. Diversey Ave., which will remain in the 36th Ward after the election.

Sposato, 55, a firefighter, said he considered running for re-election in the 36th, 38th, 29th or 30th wards, and also considered a bid for mayor. Sposato recently bought a home that is now in the 36th Ward, but will be in the 38th Ward after the Feb. 24 election.

The first day for aldermanic and mayoral candidates to collect signatures is Aug. 24.

Sposato introduced Montclare resident Gilbert Villegas as his "hand-picked" choice to succeed him as 36th Ward alderman, saying the former Marine would continue his legacy of open, accessible government. Villegas is the co-founder of StrataGem Consulting Group, which offers government relations and business development services.

Villegas has not yet formed a campaign committee, according to state records.

Omar Aquino, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Schaumburg, also plans to run for 36th Ward alderman and has formed a campaign committee.

Sposato is a member of the Progressive Reform Caucus that often opposes measures supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), another member of the caucus, praised Sposato as a "true progressive" and a "fighter" who closely analyzes legislation before making a decision. Sposato praised Fioretti as one of his "few friends" on the council.

"He understands the concerns of the whole city," Fioretti said.

Cullerton, who has accused Sposato of taking credit for accomplishments in what is now the 38th Ward, has said he does not plan to endorse a candidate in the race to replace him.

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