BRIDGEPORT — Three candidates in the race for the 11th Ward each failed to secure a majority of the vote Tuesday, forcing a runoff between John Kozlar and Patrick Daley Thompson that will take place April 7.
The 11th Ward includes all or parts of Bridgeport, Canaryville, East Pilsen and University Village.
Kozlar, 26, was all smiles at his election party Tuesday night at Fabulous Freddies Italian Eatery in Bridgeport. The 11th Ward, he said, has never seen a runoff election.
"This is a direct result of the community coming together," he said. "I'm just thankful to everybody for believing."
With 36 of 38 precincts reporting, Kozlar — who if elected would be sworn into the city council the same week he graduates from law school — captured 36 percent of the 11th Ward vote. Thompson, a MWRD commissioner who reported more than 10 times the amount of cash-on-hand as his two opponents, narrowly missed winning the election outright, with 48 percent of ballots cast.
Kozlar said he planned to reach out to fellow candidate Maureen Sullivan, who finished third with 16 percent of reported votes.
"It starts tomorrow," he said. "I hope we can work together."
Thompson said his team was "optimistic" it would avoid a runoff Tuesday, but looks forward to six more weeks of campaigning. He also plans to continue fundraising and deploying more of his war chest.
"We’re going to stay positive and talk specifically about my credentials, my experience, and most importantly, my vision for the 11th ward," he said.
Thompson acknowledged he likely will need to win over voters who cast ballots Tuesday for either Kozlar or Sullivan to win in April, but he also aims to bring out new voters who did not turn out to the polls Tuesday.
"There's more who didn't participate. We want to get those folks involved," he said.
Check out our full 2015 Aldermanic Election guide for more info on the candidates in this and other ward races.
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