LOGAN SQUARE — The races for wards largely covering Logan Square and Humboldt Park will be settled Tuesday as voters head to the polls to elect their representatives of choice.
The two wards currently led by Ald. Rey Colon (35th) and Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) will continue to cover a significant portion of the area but a citywide ward remap will go into effect this year that will add parts of other wards, including the 1st, 27th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd and 37th.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Problems with voting can be reported to the Chicago Board of Elections online at chicagoelections.com or by calling 312-269-7870.
If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote on Feb. 24, the top two vote-getters will square off in a runoff on April 7.
Colon was first elected to his post in 2003 and has no doubt presided over a development renaissance in Logan Square — a point used in his favor as well as against him. Critics complain that about residents being displaced because of high-end development and rising rents, while supporters commend the recent economic rebirth in the area.
The alderman will square off against Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 26, who, if elected, would be the first openly gay Latino alderman in City Council as well as one of seven millennial candidates vying for a seat this year.
The 35th Ward will see a decreased stake in Logan Square after the ward is redrawn to include roughly half of the neighborhood when it goes into effect this year.
Voter turnout was slow with small bursts between during peak, after-work hours, according to several volunteer workers at the Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee AVe. Hector Dejesus, an employee with 35th Ward Committeewoman Nancy Schiavone, broke down ballot stations shortly past 7 p.m.
"It was low until about 5 p.m. — not even 100 people — just ordinary people trying to catch a break" he said, noting that the final number of votes cast for the 35th Ward's 6th precinct read 145 on a nearby electronic vote station.
The 26th Ward saw the fight for its aldermanic seat heat up as the race progressed. Maldonado unveiled plans for two large developments in the past month, both backed by a range of political allies but also mired in moments of controversy within the neighborhood.
Challengers to the alderman’s seat include two candidates with widely varying platforms. Challenger Juanita Irizarry comes with a lenghty academic background, an endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police and local experience with affordable housing and development in the Humboldt Park area. Challenger Adam Corona notes his on-the-ground experience with city services as the current 43rd Ward Streets and Sanitation Superintendent and his background as a small business owner.
A southern portion of Logan Square will still be represented by the 26th Ward but the ward will remain mainly Humboldt Park.
At West Park Academy, 1425 N. Tripp Ave., Humboldt Park voter LaRhonda Reavescast her ballot but noticed that the thick book used to mark ballots was still full by the time she arrived at around 6 p.m. Tuesday night — a sign that not many votes were cast up until that point.
"People need to get out and vote," Reaves said. "They want change but they don't want to do anything about it — it's not fair."
A similar scene was found at ChiArts High School, 2714 W. Augusta Blvd., but the Humboldt Park arts school offered an extra diversion for 35th Ward voters in the school's auditorium: a pair of high school students were painting a large-scale piece on the stage, within feet of a row of polling stations.
Other Logan Square, Humboldt Park Wards:
In the 1st Ward, incumbent Ald. Joe Moreno will run against challengers Andrew Hamilton, an attorney; Ronda Locke, a community activist and Anne Shaw, an attorney. The 1st Ward will include a larger portion of Logan Square after the district remap, nearly doubling its representation of the neighborhood. Issues include a heated debate over development, campaign contributions, changing ward demographics and safety.
In the 27th Ward, incumbent alderman Walter Burnett Jr. will face challenger Gabe Beukinga for a 7th term. The 27th Ward includes the southwest corner of Humboldt Park. Despite an objection against his petitions, the Chicago Board of Elections decided Jan. 19 that 31-year-old Beukinga should appear on the ballot.
In the 30th Ward, Ald. Ariel Reboyras will run unopposed in a ward that extends into the top northwest corner of Logan Square.
In the 31st Ward, candidates Irma Cornier, Milly Santiago, Sean Starr will try to unseat incumbent Ald. Ray Suarez. The four candidates participated in a Feb. 9 forum where local issues were discussed for area including and surrounding Hermosa. The 31st Ward did not cross into Logan Square under the former ward map but will occupy a small space on the neighborhood's northwest side when the new borders go into effect.
In the 32nd Ward, incumbent Ald. Scott Waguespack will face challenger Elise Doody-Jones. The progressive caucus alderman is widely viewed as a fierce opponent of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has already spent funds to unseat Waguespack in the 2015 election. The 32nd Ward did not formerly extend into Logan Square but will represent a chunk of the neighborhood's east side, including the western half of Palmer Square.
In the 33rd Ward, appointed Ald. Deb Mell will face off against challengers Tim Meegan, a Chicago Public School teacher and Chicago Teachers Union member and Annisa Wanat, a nonprofit consultant and former Peace Corps Volunteer. The 33rd Ward is yet another ward not formerly included within Logan Square but will cover a small portion of its northeast corner under the remapped district.
In the 37th Ward, challengers Maretta Brown-Miller, Leroy Duncan and Tara Stamps will attempt to unseat incumbent Ald. Emma Mitts, who has represented the ward since 2000. The 37th Ward will move slightly west under the ward remap, covering a small sliver of West Humboldt Park's western side.
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