BRIDGEPORT — Ald. James Balcer (11th) will soon step down, according to multiple media reports.
Balcer will give up his seat "to pursue treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from his military service in the Vietnam War," according to CBS 2 Chicago's Jay Levine. Quoting unnamed sources, the Sun-Times reports Balcer will step down in April, effectively ending 18 years in office.
Balcer was originally appointed to the seat in 1997 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who installed the Vietnam War veteran after the scandal-mired resignation of Patrick Huels.
Now,the veteran alderman will endorse Patrick Daley Thompson to replace him.
An attorney who currently serves as a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner, Thompson is an heir to the city's famed Daley political dynasty — he even lives in his late, legendary grandfather Richard J. Daley's Bridgeport home.
News of Balcer's retirement comes as political newcomer and progressive Maureen Sullivan's campaign takes root in the 11th Ward.
Sullivan launched her bid with a firestorm of criticism for the "old-boy leadership" in the South Side neighborhood, which has been home to five Chicago mayors.
Joining Sullivan in the 11th Ward race is John Kozlar, a 25-year-old law student who runs the Canaryville Little League for neighborhood kids. Kozlar has said details on his platform will be released soon.
The aldermanic election takes place Feb. 24.
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