LOGAN SQUARE — Alderman Proco Joe Moreno's challenger for his 1st Ward committeeman seat said the alderman's campaign is misleading voters with its latest hit piece that attempts to paint her as a "wealthy and powerful," "globetrotting" attorney.
Maria Teresa Gonzalez, Moreno's challenger, is an attorney, but represents those who can't afford one as a Cook County Public Defender.
“It ties back to the bullying. It really does," Gonzalez said in response to the attack ad mailed out to 1st Ward residents last week. "He's just making this up and misleading the 1st Ward again, all to his advantage. It's unfortunate.”
The mailer refers to Gonzalez as "Gold Coast Gonzalez," claiming her official residence is in a high-rise apartment building on Chestnut Street.
Gonzalez said that is actually her sister and her husband's residence, where she slept for a few months upon arriving in Chicago three years ago upon accepting a job as a public defender.
Gonzalez said she has been living in Logan Square in the 1st Ward for the past two years.
“I lived with my sister for a bit so I could save up some money and move here. Unlike Moreno, my salary is less than half of his," she said. "I’m representing people who can’t afford an attorney, which I think shows my passion and devotion to public service.”
Moreno claims that he did not send out the negative mailer, which was paid for by "Concerned Citizens Of Logan Square."
That group is not officially registered as a political action committee, according to a search of the Illinois State Board of Elections database.
Moreno's official committee, Friends of Proco Joe Moreno, is sticking to positive mail, according to the alderman.
"Anything that I've put out there has been positive telling voters my records and why they should vote for me," he said.
Moreno said he doesn't know who sent out the attack ad on Gonzalez.
The ad paints the 28-year-old as a world traveler, stating she spent years in Connecticut, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and London.
Gonzalez was born and raised in Puerto Rico, attended college in Connecticut at Fairfield University and New Orleans and spent a year studying at Oxford, England.
"All of these different places I’ve lived in were for educational purposes," she said. "I think that education should be encouraged, not used against someone, which is kind of what he’s doing here.”
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