A proxy war over Aldo’s successor.Ward 14’s Edward Burke is between an indicted resigning alderman and an ally of ‘Chui’ Garcia


The two candidates, who are vying to become the first new alderman to represent the Southwest Side’s 14th Ward in over 50 years, are the first for most Chicagoans to support their candidacy. The mediators of political power who do this are well aware.

In the continuation of the years-long battle for control of the ward, Aldo leaves. Edward Burke is connected to one candidate, Raul Reyes. Mayoral candidate and U.S. Congressman Jesús “Chuy” Garcia is backing another, Jail Gutierrez.

This is the latest chapter in the political showdown between Burke and Garcia Southwest Side, which faces federal corruption charges despite Burke choosing not to run for a 14th term. Nonetheless, he claims he used his permanent office to try to coerce developers into adopting his law. Hard. Burke pleads not guilty.

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Reyes, a city clerk’s office employee who was a member of Burke’s 14th Ward political organization, received a $50,000 contribution from Burke to his campaign. Dan BurkeDan Burke lost his seat in Springfield to Aaron Ortiz in 2018. Aaron Ortiz won, thanks to strong support from Garcia, and dealt a blow to the Burke political dynasty.

Ortiz then elected Edward Burke to the Democratic Commissioner of the 14th District in 2020, ending the party office Burke had held for 52 years.

Meanwhile, this year, Garcia and Ortiz both backed Gutierrez, District Director of Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya, a close ally of Garcia.Gutierrez said he’s working to represent the entire ward after Burke’s lavish attention to the whiter parts of the Southwest Side district, which was his traditional political stronghold.

“As everyone knows, we’ve been on the same alderman for 53 years,” Gutierrez said. “Over the past few years we have been ignored and forgotten. Services in our community are not evenly distributed. I worry about making sure it works for all of us.”

Gutierrez’s victory will be gratifying for Garcia and lengthen his Southwestern political aftermath. MPs have struck a non-aggression pact with former Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Madigan, a South West Irish politician facing federal charges, but have repeatedly attempted to carve up Burke’s once-unassailable territory. It’s here.

Perhaps to boost Gutierrez’s chances, the city council changed the ward’s outline in a recent city-wide remap.

One of the council’s most influential members, Edward Burke, has been managing the once-in-a-decade exercise behind the scenes for the past few years.

But this time, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has made it clear that she will not approve one map proposal that appears friendly to the politically weakened incumbent. The 14th Ward dumped parts of the Garfield Ridge neighborhood north and west of Midway Airport, home to white city workers, and Burke passed a version that gave him a wide lead over two challengers in the 2019 election. bottom.

Burke, who has been an alderman in the 14th Ward since 1969, declined to submit a petition to have his name on the reelection ballot in November. He was not available for comment on his potential successor.

Jail Gutierrez's canvas in the Gage Park district on February 2, 2023.

Gutierrez and Reyes are currently campaigning in districts that are 88.4% Latino, centered on Archer Heights, Gage Park, and the Chicago Lawn District east of the airport.

Some of those areas are already in hospital wards, and Gutierrez said it’s clear they’re not getting the attention residents deserve.

“You can see the difference between Gage Park and Archer Heights when you drive around,” Gutierrez said, referring to two neighborhoods Burke often overlooked. “The pavement on the street is not clean enough. The curbs and tall branches have never been trimmed. Alleys like you have in Brighton Park and Gage Park.”

Gutierrez also said residents want an alderman with a plan to deal with the violence that is worsening in many parts of the hospital ward. He said he wanted to provide community centers and other options for young people to keep them off the streets.

“We don’t have a space for kids, so we need to make sure our communities have those resources so they can do good things,” she said. can participate in sports, maybe we can trade with young people at our community centre.”

Traffic on LaSalle and Randolph streets in front of Chicago City Hall on January 5, 2022.

Reyes could not be reached for comment.

His campaign website asserts to Latino voters and those in his district that he is the candidate who best represents their interests.

“Tired of waiting for basic city services? Raul Reyes too!” Reads posts on the site in English and Spanish.

Despite accusations of federal corruption, Burke easily won re-election in 2019 against two Latino candidates in a Latino-dominated constituency. One of them was endorsed by Garcia.

But Reyes may have a harder time winning over some residents in wards whose ties to the Burke organization are less important and who may not expect former Burke campaign volunteers to help him. There is a nature. he speaks

On his campaign site, Reyes said he “has worked to provide city services to the residents of the borough” and “pledges to continue to bring that dedication to every resident in every neighborhood of the new 14th Ward.” promise”.

Reyes also has an “Issues” section on his site, where he says, “I will focus on each issue one at a time and develop strategies every few weeks.”

As of Friday, the site included headlines for crime reduction, education, affordable housing and city services. was missing Information on Reyes’ strategy for addressing these concerns.

Twitter @_johnbyrne


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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