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Alderman of Madigan ward stepping down

Frank Olivo (shown 2007) “had some health questions.” (Brett Roseman/Daily Southtown)

Frank Olivo (shown in 2007) “had some health questions.” (Brett Roseman/Daily Southtown)

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The Southwest Side ward where Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan lives is set to get a new alderman.

In a surprise move, Ald. Frank J. Olivo (13th), a longtime Madigan ally, has decided against seeking another term, according to records released this week by the city’s Board of Election Commissioners. The only candidate left to replace Olivo on the Feb. 22 ballot is Marty Quinn, who’s been a top campaign worker for Madigan and Madigan’s 13th Ward Democratic Organization.

The decisions by both Olivo and Quinn to file nominating petitions raised eyebrows because both are so close to the speaker. But the 13th Ward Democrats last month told Sun-Times columnist Rich Miller, who also runs the Capitol Fax newsletter and blog, that Olivo was “awaiting final clearance from physicians” to seek another term.

“Quinn filed as a precaution,” Miller reported. “The expectation is that Olivo will run and Quinn withdraws.”

Since then, the three other candidates running for 13th Ward alderman have been knocked off the ballot after successful challenges to their petitions. Olivo withdrew, leaving only Quinn.

Olivo “had some health questions and he decided to put his health ahead of public service,” said Steve Brown, a Madigan spokesman.

Both Olivo and Quinn, who is in his mid-30s, did not return telephone messages.

Quinn is the only non-incumbent so far who won’t have an opponent in an aldermanic race. Aldermen running unopposed are Edward M. Burke (14th), Richard F. Mell (33rd), Patrick J. O’Connor (40th), Brendan Reilly (42nd), and Thomas M. Tunney (44th).

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