Heneghan will be new 41st Ward Democratic committeeman




by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI

Elmwood Park firefighter Tim Heneghan was on his way to victory in the 41st Ward Democratic committeeman race in the March 15 primary, against former city worker Andrew DeVito and disc jockey Goran Davidovac, with 43 out of 47 precincts reporting.

Heneghan received 6,143 votes, or 59 percent of the votes cast, DeVito received 3,426 votes, or 33 percent, and Davidovac received 757 votes, or 7 percent, according to unofficial results from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Committeemen are in charge of slating candidates in aldermanic, legislative and judicial races for their party, and they often campaign for and raise funds for candidates. They also work to increase voter turnout and ensure that elections run smoothly.

Heneghan was endorsed by former 41st Ward alderman Mary O’Connor and several labor unions, and decided to run after O’Connor, who was the ward’s committeeman, stepped down. DeVito was endorsed by Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st), and Davidovac was endorsed by Alderman John Arena (45th).

Heneghan said that he has lived in the ward for more than 20 years and that he has been involved in the community. In addition to being a member of the Ebinger School Local school council, he has volunteered as an athletic director at the school and has coached several teams there.

“The committeeman job is really a grassroots job to help select great candidates,” Heneghan previously said. “My main concern is that our governor’s stance on unions is unacceptable and because of that we need to slate candidates who oppose that stance.”

Heneghan said that when he decided to run, Napolitano endorsed a Democratic candidate because the alderman would not run for the Republican committeeman post, which is held by state Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-20).

“The narrative was that I am O’Connor’s guy, but that is overblown,” Heneghan said. “I didn’t know her when she was elected but I got to meet her later and she said that I would be a good fit for this job. But I’m my own man.”

Teamsters Local 700 had endorsed DeVito for his union background and political agenda to protect the middle class. DeVito has lived in Norwood Park since 1996, and he has worked for the city as a laborer in the Department of Streets and Sanitation and later in the Department of Aviation, according to the union.

Davidovac was born and raised on the Northwest Side and graduated from Taft High School, where he served as a student representative on the local school council. He is a father of three children and is a community member on the Taft LSC.

“I knew going in that there would be strong competition and obviously I can’t compete with all that money that the others were throwing at this race, but I am proud that I stuck until the end and that more than 600 people had faith in me,” Davidovac said. “But I will continue to push forward and work on Northwest Side issues. I am a supporter of the elected school board and we need to resolve overcrowding at Taft High School and deal with the airplane noise issue to improve our quality of life out here.”

Davidovac said that running a first time campaign was rewarding because he had seen and heard from people who recognized him on the streets and said that they would support him.

“It’s always disappointing because you don’t go into it to lose but to win. But I’m glad I ran,” he said. “So it looks like Heneghan. I have to give him a call and congratulate him.”

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