Incumbent in the 37th Ward easily wins re-election, while 29th Ward race may need to be determined in April runoff

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Longtime Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) won another four-year term on the Chicago City Council, getting 62.4% of the vote, with more than 70% of precincts reporting, and Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th) appeared to be winning, garnering 51.5% of the vote, with nearly 90% of precincts reporting.

Mitts, who was first appointed to the seat by then-Mayor Richard Daley in 2000, won a sixth term on the City Council, making her one of the longest-serving members of the City Council. Mitts defeated Howard Ray (28%), Jake Towers (5.9%) and Corey Denelle Braddock (4.1%). About 5,000 votes were cast.

In the 29th Ward, two-term Ald. Taliaferro may have avoided a runoff by winning more than 50% of the roughly 8,000 votes cast, beating challengers CB Johnson (39.2%) and Corey Dooley (9.3%). But with mail-in ballots still left to be counted, Taliaferro may not have avoided a runoff. If he falls below 50%, then he would face Johnson in an April 4th election.

In the newly created 15th Police District Council, candidates Karen Winters (22.6%) and Deondre Rutues (16.3%) appeared to have won seats on the new body, while just a few dozen votes separated Oddis “OJ” Johnson (14.3%) and Darius Newsome (14.2%). They were vying for the third and final seat on the Police District Council; all three members will serve a four-year term, earning $500 a month.

Also running in that district was Carmelita P. Earls (13.7%), Constance Melton (10%) and Elena X. Thompson (9.1%), with about 85% of the precincts reporting.

Winters, the apparent top vote-getter in the 15th District, became a police reform activist after the killing of her 16-year-old great-nephew by Chicago Police in 2016, as reported by AustinTalks and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is an advocate for a consent decree of the Chicago Police Department, and, as reported by Block Club Chicago, was part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Use of Force Working Group.

Rutues is a community organizer with experience implementing community-based policing. He helped launch the Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative and leads its outreach efforts in the 11th, 15th and 25th districts, according to Block Club Chicago.

Winters and Rutues both participated in a voters forum a few weeks before Election Day, where they shared their plans if elected.

With more than 90% of precincts counted, voters in the 25th Police District Council selected Angelica P. Green (27.4%), Saul Arellano (25.6%) and and Jacob Arena (20.3%) over two other candidates, Edgar “Edek” Esparza (17.9%) and Perry Abbasi (8.7%).

Abbasi was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7 and represented the FOP as an attorney in challenges that were filed against several police district council candidates running in Tuesday’s election.

The Chicago Westside Branch of the NAACP had been highly critical of Abbasi’s candidacy and has called on his law license to be revoked after receiving complaints from community leaders and learning “racist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic tweets and messages on social media,” the group said in a letter.

In the much-watched mayoral race, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, a longtime Austin resident, was headed to an April 4 runoff against top vote-getter Paul Vallas. With 98% of precincts reporting, Vallas had garnered 33.95%, to Johnson’s 20.32%. Running third was Mayor Lori Lightfoot with 16.89%.

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