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2nd Ward Race Headed to Runoff, Hopkins and Pattison to Face Off April 7

By Alisa Hauser | February 24, 2015 9:00pm | Updated on February 25, 2015 1:51am
 Alyx Pattison and Brian Hopkins
Alyx Pattison and Brian Hopkins
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STREETERVILLE — The 2nd Ward aldermanic race will be decided by a runoff election April 7 after none of the six contenders won more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday night.

Alyx Pattison and Brian Hopkins, who earned 24.4 and 29.4 percent of the vote respectively, with the majority of precincts reporting, will face off against each other.

Stacey Pfingsten, Bita Buenrostro, Steve Niketopoulos and Cornell Wilson are out of the race.

The sprawling, drastically-redrawn 2nd Ward includes parts of Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Old Town, Bucktown, Ukrainian Village and the Gold Coast. Its current alderman, Bob Fioretti, didn't run for reelection after he was remapped out of the ward. He ran for mayor instead, but finished far out of the two-man mayoral runoff.

"It feels great, we knew coming into it we had momentum, we could hear it in phone calls, on the streets and we think that momentum will put us over the top on April 7," Pattison said shortly after the results came in late Tuesday.

She added, "I want to give a big heartfelt thanks to my opponents for having the courage to put themselves on the ballot and for making me a better candidate."

When asked what issues she imagines will be important in the runoff, Pattison said the minimum wage ordinance is a "big issue" between herself and Hopkins.

Pattison said she supports the minimum wage ordinance, while Hopkins does not.

"The runoff will allow us to talk about the issues more in-depth, in a way we couldn't with four other candidates," Pattison said.

Pattison's Election Night Selfie:

Reached by phone, Hopkins said the issue of the minimum wage had already been decided on and is irrelevant moving forward.

"Starting tomorrow we will find other things we don’t agree on. A whole new campaign will begin tomorrow. The finish line was also a starting line," Hopkins said.

Echoing Pattison, Hopkins also praised his opponents.

"The other four people in the race did an awesome job, they conducted themselves with integrity and dignity and did not take their feet off the gas. The tone of the debates, every one of them, the voters responded to positively because the six of us stayed positive and set an example for the rest of the city," he said.

When asked if the polite tone among the six contenders in the wide open race had anything to do with the fact there was no incumbent, Hopkins said that "played a factor."

“An open seat in a brand new ward and people wanted to talk about the issues. I am honored to be the first place finisher and that gives me a great deal of momentum going into the runoff," Hopkins said.

Hopkins's Election Night Selfie:

Reached on Wednesday, Niketopoulos, who earned 11.8 percent of the vote and came in fourth place, after Bita Buenrostro (14.3 percent), said he was proud to have received so many votes from folks in his home turf, Ukrainian Village.

"I'm immensely proud of what we were able to accomplish without overspending, averaging $14 spent per vote versus upwards of $300 per vote from other campaigns. I never went negative and ran a consistently trusted campaign," Niketopoulos said.  

He added, "We all knew the gerrymandering of the ward was going to make this election difficult, and no better example was how I was able to win on the west side of the ward but come up short of making the runoff."

Niketopoulos, with wife, Elizabeth, at J & M Tap, 957 N. Leavitt St. on election night.

Check out our full 2015 Aldermanic Election guide for more info on the candidates in this and other ward races.

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