PORTAGE PARK — Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th) Tuesday defeated six candidates to win the 38th Ward seat on the City Council.
Sposato won 53 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff against nonprofit executive Heather Sattler, who won 16 percent of the vote in the race to represent Portage Park and Dunning.
Sposato said Tuesday night that he was surprised to have won re-election in a new ward in such a crowded race without a runoff.
"I feel real motivated to get to work," said Sposato, a firefighter.
Sposato's election means the end of the Cullerton era at Chicago City Hall. Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) will retire in May.
Cullerton, who endorsed Sattler, congratulated Sposato in a Facebook post Tuesday evening.
The Cullerton clan has controlled the 38th Ward seat representing Portage Park and Dunning since 1973, and a member of the family has been on the City Council since 1873.
This election was the the first under a new City Council map that moved most of Dunning — including Sposato's house — from the 36th Ward into the 38th Ward along with Portage Park.
Sposato enjoyed a huge fundraising advantage in the race, with the Service Employees International Union and the Chicago Teachers Union spending more than $100,000 to urge voters to re-elect him to the council where he helped found the Progressive Reform Caucus.
Sattler said the huge amount of money spent by the SEIU made it impossible for her to reach voters and accused the union of interfering in the 38th Ward.
"The SEIU money drowned out any conversation," said Sattler, the daughter of Cullerton's long time chief of staff, who was also endorsed by the 38th Ward Democratic Organization.
The other candidates were Cook County Forest Preserve Sgt. Jerry Paszek; retired city employee Michael Duda; Realtor Tom Caravette; Carmen Hernandez, a city water department investigator and City Council aide Belinda Cadiz.
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