HYDE PARK — Ald. Willie Cochran had a late lead the race for his 20th Ward seat against Kevin Bailey.
With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran had 55 percent of the vote to Bailey's 45 percent.
This is now the second time Cochran has faced a runoff since wrestling the seat from Arenda Troutman in 2007.
Bailey, a civil engineer by training, has been nipping at Cochran’s heels the entire race.
Cochran has stuck to a campaign of promising more jobs and development to the 20th Ward as he hopes for better weather on Election Day.
Turnout was down on Feb. 24 compared to previous municipal elections in the 20th Ward and Cochran blamed the icy weather.
Sam Cholke breaks down the race:
Both Cochran and Bailey were optimistic that better weather and the inclusion of a high-profile race between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia would drive more voters to the polls on Tuesday.
Bailey has waged a vicious campaign against Cochran on social media and has not shied from plastering Chuy’s name on campaign material in a ward where neither mayoral candidate has strongly moved voters.
Despite this, community leaders supporting Emanuel like the Rev. Leon Finney Jr. of the Woodlawn Organization and the Rev. Torrey Barrett of the Keep Loving Each Other Center in Washington Park have appeared at events with Bailey, but have been careful not to appear in photos with him.
Cochran has maintained a distance from Emanuel during the election and has not officially endorsed either mayoral candidate, but he has gotten support from the mayor.
On March 31, Emanuel’s campaign transferred $10,000 to Cochran’s campaign.
Chicago Forward, the independent expenditure committee backing Emanuel, has not stepped in yet to help Cochran as it has for other candidates. The group has not yet spent any money in support of Cochran or in opposition of Bailey, as of the most recent state filings on March 31.
The weather promises to be in the high-50s on Election Day with occasional showers as both candidates hope the break from winter will bring people to the polls.
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