CHICAGO — The new alderman for the 36th Ward will be decided in the runoff election Tuesday.
No candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote in the February election, so vote total leaders Gilbert Villegas and Omar Aquino now vie for the position.
As of 8:10 p.m., 24 of 30 precincts were reporting, and Villegas led with 56 percent and 3,587 votes over Aquino, who had 44 percent of the vote with 2,841 votes.
Villegas is a former U.S. Marine who lives in Montclare. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, among other organizations, and is a strong supporter of small businesses, according to his website.
Aquino grew up on the Northwest Side and has worked for U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and as a legislative aide in the Illinois House of Representatives. He said crumbling infrastructure, schools and crime are major issues facing the ward, according to his website.
The 36th Ward has been redistricted for 2015 and mostly encompasses portions of Belmont Cragin. Aquino called the changes "dramatic new ward boundaries." The incumbent Ald. Nicholas Sposato ran for 38th Ward alderman and won in February.
The race has been marked by controversy, as canvassers for the two campaigns filed assault charges against each other in early March. In another incident, Villegas apologized and said he would retroactively pay an artist whose work was lifted and used in campaign mailers for the candidate.
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