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Police Sgt. Chris Taliaferro Wins, Unseats Ald. Graham in 29th Ward

By Ariel Cheung | April 7, 2015 10:29pm | Updated on April 7, 2015 11:12pm
 Chris Taliaferro
Chris Taliaferro
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29TH WARD — With a 511-vote lead Tuesday night, Police Sgt. Chris Taliaferro unseated Ald. Deborah Graham in the 29th Ward.

"I think it's safe to say that the voters have spoken. We're hopeful this is the end of the race and a new beginning for the 29th Ward," Taliaferro told DNAinfo Chicago.

Taliaferro had 6,279 votes, or 52 percent, while Graham had 47.8 percent, or 5,768 votes, with 95 percent of precincts reporting.


Just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, Graham called Taliaferro to concede the race. A campaign spokesman said Graham was disappointed but "extremely grateful to have served" and would help Taliaferro with the transition.

The race was a battle between well-funded incumbent Graham and untested challenger Taliaferro.

 Ald. Deborah Graham (c.)
Ald. Deborah Graham (c.)
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

In February, Graham received 40 percent of the vote in the eight-person race. Taliaferro, a lawyer and police sergeant in the Grand Central District, garnered 22.5 percent.

The ward includes Austin, Galewood, Belmont Heights, Montclare and Lawndale.

Since Jan. 1, Graham had outraised Taliaferro by more than $200,000. According to the report by Illinois PIRG, Taliaferro had raised shy of $32,000.

According to a report authored by Dick Simpson, Melissa Mouritsen and Bezya Buyuker exploring City Council voting from June 2011 to November 2014, Graham has voted 100 percent of the time with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

According to Austin Talks, Emanuel's Chicago Forward PAC contributed more than $80,000 to her campaign.

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