The election is Feb. 26, and the Herald has been studying and interviewing the candidates to determine who we think will best serve the 4th and 5th Wards.
In the 4th Ward incumbent Sophia King is opposed by challenger Ebony Lucas. Appointed in 2017 to replace Ald. Will Burns, King has demonstrated a deft touch juggling the diverse interests of her constituents in a ward that extends from the South Loop to 53rd Street. She is a clear advocate for the badly needed ethics reform within City Council. Her record indicates a strong commitment to improving education and educational facilities throughout the ward, and she has worked to increase minority participation in major construction projects. Her first two years are promising; she deserves a full term to show what she can do. The Herald endorses Ald. King.
Ald. Leslie Hairston has represented the 5th Ward for 20 years. In this election, she faces two challengers: William Calloway and Gabriel Piemonte. Calloway is a community activist; Piemonte is a former editor of the Herald. Both challengers face an uphill battle against the long-time incumbent, but one of the key questions that voters should ask is whether a change would benefit the ward. Both Calloway and Piemonte are advocating change and greater responsiveness from the alderman’s office. Both are strong backers of reform in City Council, and we haven’t forgotten Hairston’s 2016 vote to block Inspector General oversight of Council spending. In an interview with the Herald, Hairston said she was running because she wants to finish the job she started. The Herald believes 20 years should have been long enough to complete the job. We do not agree with Piemonte on all issues, but his new ideas and familiarity with the ward are encouraging. The Herald endorses Piemonte.