Lightfoot wins big locally; Conyears-Ervin and Sigcho-Lopez embrace new roles
May 3, 2019

Lori Lightfoot.

By William S. Bike

Chicago’s lineup of elected officials is going to look very different after the April 2 election.

Former Federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot, endorsed by Gazette Chicago in both the February and April elections, beat Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, with 386,039 votes for 73.7% for Lightfoot and 137,765 for 26.3% for Preckwinkle.

Despite post-election media criticism of the public for “low turnout,” Lightfoot actually tallied more votes in her 2019 runoff victory than Mayor Rahm Emanuel did in the 2015 runoff. Lightfoot’s 2019 total of 386,039 bested Emanuel’s 2015 total of 332,171. Overall, turnout for the 2019 runoff was down about 8.5% from the 2015 runoff total.

Lightfoot also exceeded Emanuel’s 2011 vote total, and Richard M. Daley’s winning totals in 2007 and 2003. The 2019 voter turnout of 504,123 was higher than the 2007 total of 456,765, and the 2003 total of 463,145.

“This is a historic achievement and the start of a new day for our diverse, incredible city,” Lightfoot said. “We won this election because we know we’re better together, Chicago. Let’s keep the momentum going.”

Lightfoot won every one of Chicago’s 50 wards, including the eight wards that comprise this community.

Ward totals

In the 3rd Ward, Lightfoot tallied 9,284 votes for 70.01%, to Preckwinkle’s 3,977 for 29.99%. The 4th Ward saw 8,663 votes and 59.72% for Lightfoot, and 5,842 and 40.28% for Preckwinkle.

The 11th Ward saw 6,483 votes and 74.31% for Lightfoot and 2,241 and 25.69% for Preckwinkle. The 12th Ward contributed 3,061 votes and 74.35% for Lightfoot and 1,056 for 25.65% for Preckwinkle.

In the 25th Ward, Lightfoot scored 6,883 votes for 71.81%, while Preckwinkle tallied 2,702 for 28.19%. The 27th Ward saw 7,414 votes and 70.78% for Lightfoot, and 3,061 and 29.22% for Preckwinkle.

The 28th Ward saw 6,004 voters, 71.81%, come out for Lightfoot, and 2,357, 28.19%, for Preckwinkle. In the 42nd Ward, Lightfoot
scored her biggest totals, 11,086 votes for 84.32%, to Preckwinkle’s 2,061 for 15.68%.

Melissa Conyears-Ervin.

In the race for City Treasurer, 10th District State Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin defeated North Side Alderman Ameya Pawar. Conyears-Ervin tallied 296,293 votes for 59.38%, to Pawar’s 202,740 for 40.62%.

“I am incredibly honored, humbled, and excited to have been elected Chicago’s next Treasurer by voters across the city,” Conyears-Ervin said. “I am also extremely eager to begin enacting change that will allow residents throughout the city to enjoy and contribute to Chicago’s growing prosperity, regardless of their ZIP code. It is time working families and small business owners in all neighborhoods have equal financial opportunities.”

Conyears-Ervin received Gazette Chicago’s endorsement.

“I was honored and excited to receive the Gazette’s endorsement during both rounds of the election,” she said. “To have the support of an independent paper that acts as a voice for the community means a lot to me. I think the endorsement helped show voters that my candidacy for the office was focused on helping them and ensuring that I would be a watchdog for taxpayers’ dollars.”

Conyears-Ervin promised to “convene a meeting with the CEOs of financial institutions that Chicago works with, and I expect them to present a plan for how to increase access, equity, and opportunities for working families. The banking industry has a responsibility to invest in working families and small businesses. As Treasurer, I will be committed to working only with banks that work for Chicago’s residents.”

The 25th Ward was the only ward locally that went to an April 2 runoff. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, former head of Pilsen Alliance, defeated health care professional Alex Acevedo. Sigcho-Lopez tallied 5,224 for 54.2%, to 4,414 for 45.8% for Acevedo.

“To the voters who elected me, I want to say thank you for your endurance and civic engagement, your trust, and for building something better for our communities,” Sigcho-Lopez said. “To all the residents of the ward, I want to reiterate my commitment to working with each community to be the engaged and present representative they deserve. I can’t do this alone and am grateful for everyone who is eager to help strengthen our communities together.”

Sigcho-Lopez won endorsement by Gazette Chicago in both rounds.

I am very grateful for the Gazette Chicago endorsement,” Sigcho-Lopez said. “Gazette Chicago consistently and thoroughly informed readers about candidate priorities and how they aligned with priorities for the 25th Ward, and I’m grateful that my campaign commitments resonated with the Gazette and with a majority of voters.”

Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

As he added, “Gazette Chicago continued to report in depth on critical issues facing our community, and journalists at the Gazette Chicago sometimes challenged me to step up and consider all perspectives on various issues. I hope that, as an elected official, Gazette Chicago challenges me to govern fairly and in accordance with our shared values and principles. I remain committed to being accessible, fighting for legislatively united communities, and continuing to listen to community stakeholders as we work to move our communities and city forward.”

Sigcho-Lopez succeeds Alderman Daniel Solis, who chose not to run again after being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and wearing an FBI wire. Sigcho-Lopez frequently battled Solis over the years on neighborhood issues when Sigcho-Lopez ran Pilsen Alliance.

The 25th Ward includes Pilsen, Chinatown, the West Loop, and the Near West Side.

Sigcho-Lopez favors an elected school board, better school funding, and a Civilian Police Accountability Council. He opposes the rampant gentrification that Solis did little to stop. 

He is one of ten City Council members who consider themselves Democratic Socialists, a term that frightens some conservatives but that generally means using government activism for the public good in the manner of Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal, Harry Truman and his Fair Deal, John F. Kennedy and his New Frontier, and Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society.

Thank you for the trust you have placed in me, and I look forward to serving the residents of the 25th Ward for the next four years,” Sigcho-Lopez concluded. “I will put my all into it.”