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43rd, 2nd Ward Voters Head to the Polls

By Paul Biasco | February 24, 2015 4:55am
 A guide to all the aldermanic candidates running in the 43rd Ward race.
A guide to all the aldermanic candidates running in the 43rd Ward race.
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LINCOLN PARK — The days of robocalls, attack ads and dozens of mailers are ending — at least for now — and it's now time to hit the polls.

Chicagoans voting today in Lincoln Park and Old Town will be voting in two of the most interesting races in the city: the 2nd and 43rd wards.

43rd Ward

Ald. Michele Smith was looking to fight off three challengers in Tuesday's election in the 43rd Ward.

Smith, who is serving her first term, hopes to hold onto the ward, which includes the majority of Lincoln Park, Old Town and the Gold Coast.

The three challengers, Jen Kramer, Jerry Quandt and Caroline Vickrey, are all first-time candidates.

If none of the candidates received 50 percent (plus one) of the vote Feb. 24 the top two vote-getters will face each other in a runoff April 7.

Kramer is a Navy Pier director and former coordinator under Mayor Daley in the Office of Special Events.

Quandt is a marketing consultant and former member of the Lincoln Elementary Local School Council.

Vickrey is a former attorney in the Illinois Attorney General's Office and member of Lincoln Elementary's Local School Council.

Future developments, the former Children's Memorial Hospital redevelopment, schools and policing have been the main topics of debate in the ward race.

Turnout has been down ward-wide and many polling stations were empty for parts of the morning.

Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) was greeting voters outside Alcott Elementary School with less than an hour to go, trying to shore up last minute support.

Melanie Waldman, a 25-year-old Lincoln Park voter, said this was her first time voting in person and she wanted to do some because of the importance of local elections.

"If we want to see something done in our community, you can't really rely on Springfield," Waldman said.

Our comprehensive coverage of the 43rd Race is available at this link.

2nd Ward

The "New 2" as it's been called is a sprawling ward with its boundaries snaking through portions of the lakefront, the Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and Bucktown.

The gerrymandered map, which the candidates have joked about along the way, has brought out a diverse field of six candidates.

There is no incumbent in the race, because Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) will no longer live in the ward under the new remap and opted instead to run for mayor.

The candidates include Bita Buenrostro, Brian Hopkins, Steve Niketopoulos, Alyx Pattison, Stacey Pfingsten and Cornell Wilson.

Buenrostro, the wife of a Chicago police officer, is an Iranian immigrant and executive with a Chicago-based restaurant corporation.

Hopkins is a two-term president of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents and former Chief of Staff to Cook County Finance Chairman John Daley.

Niketopoulos is a television producer for CAN-TV and has built and moderated several neighborhood community groups.

Pattison is an attorney, member of the Jose de Diego Local School Council and volunteer on the Cook County Commission on Women's Rights.

Pfingsten previously served as a political coordinator and fundraiser for Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and as a staffer under Fioretti.

Wilson is a Marine and attorney who supports the idea of participatory budgeting.


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