Ward totals in February mayoral election show interesting variations
March 30, 2019

By William S. Bike

Gazette Chicago-endorsed mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle move on to the April 2 general election after finishing in the top two spots with the highest vote totals in the Feb. 26 election, but results were not necessarily consistent in the six wards that comprise this community.

Along with Lightfoot and Preckwinkle, candidates were Gery Chico, William M. Daley, Amara Enyia, Robert Fioretti, LaShawn Ford, Jerry Joyce, John Kozlar, Garry McCarthy, Susana A. Mendoza, Neal Sales-Griffin, Paul Vallas, and Willie L. Wilson.

The 3rd Ward saw 13,132 ballots cast out of 37,694 registered for a 34.84% turnout, and a win for Preckwinkle with Lightfoot second. Totals were Preckwinkle, 3,007, 22.9%; Lightfoot, 2,336, 17.8%; Wilson, 2,178, 16.6%; Daley, 1,735, 13.2%; Enyia, 1,238, 9.4%; Mendoza, 644, 4.9%; Vallas, 497, 3.8%; Chico, 472, 3.6%; Joyce, 382, 2.9%; McCarthy, 169, 1.3%, Fioretti, 154, 1.2%; Ford, 140, 1.1%, Sales-Griffin, 42, 0.3%; and Kozlar, 42, 0.3%.

In the 4th Ward, there were 13,960 ballots cast out of 36,065 registered for a 38.71% turnout and a Preckwinkle win, with Lightfoot second. Totals were Preckwinkle, 4,398, 31.5%; Lightfoot, 2,759, 19.8%; Wilson, 1,824, 13.1%; Enyia, 1,553, 11.1%; Daley, 1,277, 9.1%; Mendoza, 547, 3.9%; Vallas, 398, 2.9%; Chico, 347, 2.5%; Joyce, 250, 1.8%; Ford, 177, 1.3%; Fioretti, 151, 1.1%; McCarthy, 123, 0.9%; Sales-Griffin, 55, 0.4%; and Kozlar, 31, 0.2%.

The 11th Ward is the heart of the old Democratic machine, but with 28,300 voters and 10,335 ballots cast, both its number of registered voters and its turnout of 36.52% fell below that of some other wards. Daley won, but Lightfoot finished a surprising second. Totals were Daley, 3,728, 36.0%; Lightfoot, 1,151, 11.0%; Joyce, 982, 9.5%; Preckwinkle, 778, 7.5%; Chico, 710, 6.9%; Enyia, 645, 6.2%; Mendoza, 640, 6.2%; McCarthy, 531, 5.1%; Vallas, 472, 4.6%; Kozlar, 268, 2.6%; Wilson, 236, 2.3%; Fioretti, 64, 0.6%; Ford, 31, 0.3%; and Sales-Griffin, 14, 0.2%.

The 12th Ward saw 5,871 ballots cast out of 20,387 registered voters for a 28.8% turnout and a Mendoza win. Totals were Mendoza, 1,422, 24.2%; Daley, 951, 16.2%; Chico, 867, 14.8%; Preckwinkle, 484, 8.2%; Lightfoot, 468, 8.0%; Enyia, 445, 7.6%; Joyce, 433, 7.4%; McCarthy, 220, 3.7%; Vallas, 184, 3.1%; Wilson, 142, 2.4;  Kozlar, 41, 0.7%; Fioretti, 34, 0.6%; Ford, 22, 0.4%; Sales-Griffin, 16, 0.3%.

In the 25th Ward, there were 9,803 ballots cast out of 29,680 registered for a 33.03% turnout. In a ward with a large Hispanic population, Lightfoot scored a surprising first place finish over Mendoza. Totals were Lightfoot, 1,553, 15.9%; Mendoza, 1,394, 14.2%; Preckwinkle, 1,331, 13.6%; Daley, 1,298, 13.2%; Enyia, 1,188, 12.1%; Chico, 1,013, 10.3%; Joyce, 518, 5.3%; Wilson, 403, 4.1%; Vallas, 391, 4.0; McCarthy, 212, 2.2%; Fioretti, 91, 0.9%; Kozlar, 63, 0.6%; Ford, 53, 0.5%; and Sales-Griffin, 32, 0.3%.

The 27th Ward, with 37,398 voters, saw 10,176 come out for a 27.21% turnout and a Preckwinkle win. Totals were Preckwinkle, 1,936, 19.0%; Wilson, 1,870, 18.4%; Lightfoot, 1,687, 16.6%; Daley, 1,475, 14.5%; Enyia, 883, 8.7%; Mendoza, 610, 6.0%; Chico, 392, 3.9%; Vallas, 354, 3.5%; Joyce, 268, 2.5%; Fioretti, 204, 2.0%; Ford, 182, 1.8%;  McCarthy, 160, 1.6%; Sales-Griffin, 37, 0.4%, and Kozlar, 36, 0.4%.

In the 28th Ward, out of 33,061 voters, 8,195 came out for a 24.79% turnout and a Wilson win. Totals were Wilson, 2,385, 29.1%; Preckwinkle, 1,415, 17.3%; Lightfoot, 1,182, 14.4%; Daley, 802, 9.8%; Enyia, 688, 8.4%;  Mendoza, 356, 4.3%; Ford, 293, 3.6%; Chico, 290, 3.5%; Vallas, 246, 3.0%; Joyce, 201, 2.5%; Fioretti, 113, 1.4%; McCarthy, 89, 1.0%; Sales-Griffin, 23, 0.3%; and Kozlar, 20, 0.2%.

The 42nd Ward has 43,577 registered voters, and 13,013 of them voted for a 29.86% turnout. Daley won, but Lightfoot came in a strong second. Totals were Daley, 4,180, 32.1%; Lightfoot, 2,718, 20.9%; Preckwinkle, 1,438, 11.0%; Vallas, 947, 7.3%; Mendoza, 865, 6.6%; Chico, 674, 5.2%; McCarthy, 540, 4.1%; Enyia, 530, 4.1%; Joyce, 516, 4.0%; Wilson, 296, 2.3%; Fioretti, 94, 0.7; Kozlar, 78, 0.6%; Sales-Griffin, 54, 0.4%; and Ford, 50, 0.4%.

“Lori Lightfoot did surprisingly well, especially in white and Latino wards, because her message of reform and change resonated with voters,” said Dick Simpson,” professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Progressive turnout

“Where voters turned out to support reform or progressive aldermanic candidates like in the 25th Ward, and all along the North Lakefront wards which she carried, she did well. Even in African American wards, Lori was frequently the second or third choice among voters, even if a Willie Wilson or Preckwinkle was first,” Simpson continued.

“The early polls show her leading in the runoff election, but the vote will get closer as the race tightens.

“All of this is why Preckwinkle is running an attacking campaign because she has to do so to win,” Simpson noted. “However, the charge that Lori is not a reformer is not going to stick. And Preckwinkle has to defend raising the sales tax and the dreaded soda tax.

“It will depend upon who can win over the supporters of the other candidates and attract new voters in the runoff in all these wards,” Simpson said. “At the moment, smart money is on Lightfoot, but it is not over.”