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Indicted Ald. Ed Burke Is Retiring After 54 Years In Office. Here’s Who Is Running To Replace Him

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GAGE PARK — Ed Burke will not be alderman of the 14th Ward for the first time since the late 1960s.

The longtime “dean” of City Hall and onetime chairman of the city’s Finance Committee was one of Chicago’s most powerful aldermen for decades. He is now facing federal racketeering, extortion and bribery charges, accused of attempting to divert tax work to his law firm by blocking permits for a Burger King in his Southwest Side ward.

Speaking of his influence, Burke ran for re-election in 2019 after being indicted and famously won.

That of the commissioner he is expected to go on trial on federal charges in November. He announced in late 2022 that he would not seek re-election.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ald. Ed Burke (14th) at a city council meeting on October 26, 2022.

To replace Burke are two candidates with some experience in local politics: Jeylu Gutierrez And Raul Reyes.

The 14th Ward includes Gage Park, Archer Heights and parts of Brighton Park and Chicago Lawn.

The elections are on February 28th.

More information about candidates:

Jeylu Gutierrez

Jeylu Gutierrez

A Brighton Park resident, Gutiérrez works as a district manager for County Commissioner Alma Anaya, whose district includes much of the Southwest Side.

Gutiérrez entered politics by volunteering for Jesús “Chuy” García’s 2015 mayoral campaign, she said. She has also served as a counselor, community liaison, and other roles at Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen and Hernandez Middle School in Gage Park.

Gutiérrez was inspired to run for alderman after experiencing patchy access to city services in different parts of the 14th district, she said. As alderman, she would work to improve the way these services are delivered, she said.

“Some services don’t come to us even though we are the same department,” said Gutiérrez. “Some areas are cleaner, the roads are paved and the trees are cut down. And some other communities aren’t as lucky, right? Which amazes me, because we all deserve the same kind of services.”

Gutiérrez was endorsed by García and several affiliated politicians. He raised approximately $71,000 with donations from Senator Celina Villaneuva, Representative Aaron Ortiz and the SEIU IL Council PAC Fund, according to campaign financial records.

Raul Reyes

Raul Reyes

A staff assistant in the city clerk’s office, Reyes is making his second bid for a council seat.

Reyes unsuccessfully challenged Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) in the 2015 election, finishing fifth out of six candidates, according to election results.

Reyes has ties to Burke and his family, according to financial records and media reports.

Leading up to the 2019 election, Reyes helped Burke gather dozens of signatures to run on the ballot. the Sun-Times reported at the time. Reyes also filed an objection against Burke’s challenger Tanya Patino, according to the Sun-Times.

Patino eventually appeared on the ballot and garnered about 30 percent of the vote, not enough to force Burke into a runoff, election results show.

Moreover, campaign finance record Reyes accepted $50,000 in December from the campaign fund of former Rep. Dan Burke, Ed Burke’s brother.

Reyes did not respond to requests for comment.

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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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