Alderman Sposato, Napolitano, Taliaferro endorse Willie Wilson for U.S. Senate
by BRIAN NADIG
Aldermen Nicholas Sposato (38th), Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Chris Taliaferro (29th) have endorsed independent U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Willie Wilson over longtime Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin.
“I see the love in his heart for this great city,” Taliaferro said at a Sept. 29 news conference in which the aldermen announced their support for Wilson, who is running against incumbent Senator Durbin, Republican Party candidate Mark Curran, Libertarian Party candidate Danny Malouf and Green Party candidate David Black.
Taliaferro, who also is the 29th Ward democratic committeeman, said that he has not taken any heat for choosing Wilson over Durbin, his party’s candidate, “and nor do I care about that … It’s not about voting for a party. It’s about voting for a person.”
Taliaferro said that Wilson, a wealthy businessman who owns a medical supply business, came to the assistance of his ward, providing face masks and food during the pandemic. Wilson, who in 2019 lost a bid to became Chicago mayor, is running for the Senate as a member of the Willie Wilson Party.
Wilson said that he has spent $23 million of his personal money donating supplies to communities during the pandemic, including 20,000 face masks to each city ward.
“It’s been a passion of mine to serve all communities,” Wilson said, adding that as senator his focus would be serving his constituents and not himself. “I have my own money. I’m not looking to take any money.”
Sposato, who retired in 2017 as the 38th Ward democratic committeeman, said that Wilson “stepped up to the plate” when Chicago was in great need for help at the start of the pandemic.
“He’s a a true humanitarian,” Sposato said. “ I offer my full support. It was not a hard decision for me.”
Napolitano said that Wilson is “a people person” and that the state ends more elected officials like Wilson “who always put themselves second to everybody else.” He added that Durbin has not done enough to make Illinois a better state during his 37 years in public office.
In political circles Sposato and Napolitano are often considered the most conservative members of the City Council. Sposato has characterized himself as liberal on union issues but conservative on other matters, often praising President Trump, while Napolitano has said that he is politically independent, having supported both Democrat and Republican candidates.
The Durbin campaign has criticized Wilson for his conservative views and backing of Republican candidates.
Meanwhile, a news release on the endorsement conference listed Alderman James Gardiner (45th) as one of the endorsers, but Gardiner said the release was issued in error and that he has not endorsed Wilson. Gardiner also serves as the 45th Ward democratic committeeperson.