PORTAGE PARK — Ald. John Arena (45th) Wednesday released the first television commercial in his bid for re-election, touting his record of attracting new businesses to the area.
Titled "Together," the commercial features Arena saying he kept the promises he made during his first campaign for the Chicago City Council to revitalize the 45th Ward and created an open an transparent ward office.
"Together we can keep moving our neighborhoods forward," Arena said.
Several dozen new businesses have opened in the 45th Ward during his tenure, said Arena, promising to continue the momentum in Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Gladstone Park, Forest Glen and Old Irving Park.
The 30-second ad will air more than 3,000 times across 18 cable networks, said Dave Miranda, a spokesman for Arena's campaign.
The commercial also introduces Arena and his wife, Jill, and two children to voters who became part of the 45th Ward under the new City Council map, Miranda said.
Arena is facing three challengers, including Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido, who lost to the alderman by 30 votes in 2011.
The race to represent the 45th Ward on the City Council has been in high gear since October, with rival campaigns blanketing homes with political advertisements and pre-recorded telephone calls.
The candidates are scheduled to debate Tuesday at Irving Park Baptist Church, 4401 W. Irving Park Road. The Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn is scheduled to moderate the debate sponsored by the Old Irving Park Association.
A debate hosted by the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Hitch School, 5625 N. McVicker Ave.
In races where no candidate earns 50 percent of the votes cast on Feb. 24, a runoff between the top two candidates will take place April 7.
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