Alderman Nicholas Sposato wins 38th Ward aldermanic seat, defeats six challengers
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
Alderman Nicholas Sposato (36th) won the majority of the vote on Feb. 24 and was elected the new alderman of the 38th Ward, marking an end to the Cullerton family’s long hold on the ward’s aldermanic seat.
Sposato received 5,875 votes, or 53.6 percent of the total, according to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Others in the race were Heather Sattler, with 1,775 votes (16.2 percent), Jerry Paszek with 1,187 votes (10.8 percent), Michael Duda with 750 votes (6.8 percent), Tom Caravette with 648 votes (5.9 percent), Carmen Hernandez with 457 votes (4.2 percent) and Belinda Cadiz with 286 votes (2.6 percent).
“It feels good to win. I don’t know about ending the Cullerton era, but I will work hard in the 38th Ward just as I did in the 36th Ward,” Sposato said.
A member of the Cullerton family has occupied the 38th Ward aldermanic seat for decades. Sattler, who was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, is Alderman Timothy Cullerton’s former chief of staff’s daughter. Sattler grew up in Portage Park and is chief operating officer of the 100 Club of Chicago, which helps the families of first responders who were killed in the line of duty.
“It was a good campaign. I was up and I was down. I felt good and I felt bad. Just yesterday the printer screwed up on some of our mailers, but on election night I got almost 54 percent in such a crowded field. I mean, you get 5 percent just by getting your name on the ballot,” Sposato said. He added that at one point as the election results were coming in, he thought the race would go into a runoff on April 7.
“Eight years ago I ran for alderman (in the 36th Ward) and I got my brains beat in and then I ran again (in 2011) and I beat their brains in,” Sposato said. “I want to listen to the people and walk around the 38th Ward and the parts I don’t know yet and just listen to the people and their concerns.”
Sposato recently moved from the 36th Ward to the 38th Ward, with hopes of being elected alderman because many parts of his old ward are now a part of the 38th Ward.
Sposato ran on a platform of giving back to the community where he grew up and his commitment to running an open government with an independent voice to serve the people and “not special interests or the mayor.”
In 2011, Sposato defeated appointed alderman John Rice in the April 5 aldermanic runoff election in the 36th Ward.
Sposato received 5,651 votes, or 56.1 percent of the votes cast, to 4,423 votes for Rice, who was appointed when Alderman William Banks retired.
Rice was forced into a runoff in the Feb. 22, 2011, municipal election, when he received 6,756 votes (48.1 percent of the total cast), to 3,373 votes (24.0 percent) for Sposato in a field of six candidates.
Sposato ran unsuccessfully against Banks in 2007. He said that he ran against Banks because he was concerned about the overdevelopment of large condominium buildings on Harlem Avenue.
Sposato said at the time that with Banks “it was a different story because he was a powerful alderman, and I’m not sure that I could have beat him,” Sposato said. “But with Rice I got a lot of good people behind me after the February election who knew what they were doing. The election was a referendum on “machine” politics, and not just in the 36th Ward but all over the city.”