Runoff in 45th Ward aldermanic race possible, as Gardiner just under 50 percent, with Mathias in second and Suh in third, as more votes to be counted; Sposato, Napolitano, Nugent win
by BRIAN NADIG
Northwest Side Alderman James Gardiner (45th) could be facing a runoff election on April 4, while aldermen Nicholas Sposato (38th), Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Samantha Nugent (39th) are the apparent winners of their races, although hundreds of mail-in ballots in each race may not be counted for days.
Gardiner had about 48.9 percent of the vote with about 93 percent of the precincts reporting, and unless he can get over the 50-percent mark, he would have to face the candidate in second place. However, it was not clear as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, who would be in second, although Megan Mathias was up by about 185 votes over the next closest challenger, James Suh.
According to unofficial election results, in the 45th Ward aldermanic race, Gardiner had 6,715 votes (48.89 percent), Mathias had 2,196 votes (15.99 percent), Suh had 2,008 votes (14.62 percent), Susanna Ernst had 1,623 votes (11.82 percent), Ana Santoyo had 701 votes (5.10 percent) and Marija Tomic had 491 votes (3.58 percent).
Gardiner, a firefighter, is seeking is second term, with his first term being marked by several negative headlines, including the texting of offensive messages about some constituents and others to a former aide, who later released the messages. Gardiner has campaigned on bringing more than $450 million in development to the ward and improving the ward’s infrastructure. Gardiner has been endorsed by many trade unions in addition to the police and firefighter unions.
Under the recent remap, Mathias’ home was taken out of the 45th Ward, but she has said that she will move into the ward if she wins. Mathias,’ endorsements include the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Equality Illinois, Victory Fund and Chicago Tribune. Mathias, an attorney, has said that she will seek innovative solutions to revitalizing the ward’s business districts, which include Six Corners, Edgebrook and Jefferson Park.
Suh is a local business owner who is a plaintiff in two pending lawsuits against Gardiner. One of the lawsuits claims that Gardiner violated some constituents’ rights by not letting them comment on the official aldermanic Facebook page. Suh helped organized a protest against Gardiner in 2019, objecting to Gardiner’s delay in approving a proposed senior living development at Six Corners.
In the 38th Ward, Sposato, who is seeking his fourth term as alderman, appears to have avoided a runoff election despite having four challengers. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, Sposato had 6,185 votes (55.73 percent), Ed Bannon had 2,973 votes (26.79 percent). Cynthia Santos had 1,140 votes (10.27 percent), Franco Reyes had 514 votes (4.63 percent) and Bruce Randazzo had 287 votes (2.59 percent). Sposato, who hosts annual “support the police” rallies, is arguably the most conservative member of the City Council.
In the 41st Ward, Napolitano had about 74 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting, defeating challenger Paul Struebing. This will be the third term for Napolitano, who has served as both a Chicago firefighter and police officer.
In the 39th Ward, Nugent led with 62 percent of the vote, with 91 percent of the precincts reporting, over challenger Denali Dasgupta. This will be the second term for Nugent, a Sauganash resident.
In the race for the 16th (Jefferson Park) District Police Council, Colleen Mary Dillon, Daniel Martin and Colleen Murphy were leading about 90 percent of the precincts reporting. Also running were David Feller, Trisha Kannon, Dan Butterworth and John Marcatante. The top three in each district race are elected.
In the 17th (Albany Park) District Council race, Anthony Michael Tamez, Elizabeth Rochford and Steve Spagnolo were leading, with Brian Sullivan in fourth place and Nick Carusi in fifth place.