By ALLISON MATYUS
4th Ward politics heats up
This year in politics started with former alderman Will Burns resigning from his elected position in February to move on to a job in the private sector. Burns officially stepped down from the position on March 1.
After 18 candidates applied to become the new interim alderman for the 4th Ward until a special election on Feb 28, 2017, Ald. Sophia King (4th) was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in April.
“I decided intentionally years ago to serve my community because I thought there was a need,” King said in an earlier interview with the Herald. “I did all these things because I felt that I could help and add value.”
King was met with skepticism on her appointment by the mayor, but said that she is overcoming any preconceived perceptions by serving the ward.
“I’m aware of the perception I have to overcome, but I think once people hear what I’ve been doing, they will see my intention is to advocate on behalf of the community,” she said in a November interview. “The reality is that I’m really a candidate that nobody sent.”
The special election for 4th Ward alderman will be held in two months, on Feb. 28. Various candidates started announcing their candidacy as early as this August.
After the deadline for petitions for nomination papers ended on Nov. 28, six candidates were officially announced to run in the upcoming election: Ebony Lucas, Marcellus H. Moore, Jr., King, Gregory Livingston, Jack Taylor and Gerald Scott McCarthy.
Objections were filed for four of the candidates, which include Livingston, McCarthy, Moore and Taylor.
While objection hearings will continue up until the election date, the candidates are sticking to their platforms and hitting the campaign trail to meet the constituents of the ward.
The 4th Ward aldermanic election will take place on Feb. 28. If necessary, a run-off election will take place on Tuesday, April 4.
Hyde Park votes in primaries, presidential election
The March 16 primaries were important for the 26th District race, in which State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26) and candidate Jay Travis went head to head once more for the seat in Springfield.
In the end, Mitchell beat Travis by approximately 56 percent, or 3,028 votes for the primary election.
“What the people in this district have done tonight is reaffirm the fight that we have taken up over the past four years and that is the fight that I intend to continue,” Mitchell said in an emotional speech during his campaign party.
Travis did not concede to the election until the next day, saying, “I’m immensely proud of the volunteers who came together to support this campaign – and inspired about what I know we can continue to accomplish as we stand together going forward.”
When it came down to the presidential election in November, Hyde Park overwhelmingly voted for Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton. Approximately 12,150 residents of Hyde Park voted for Clinton, and approximately 441 people voted for President-elect Donald Trump.