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9 incumbents face runoffs for Council

Tim Cullerthis wife Nancy stopped vote City VolkswagFebruary 22 2011 38th ward .  | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

Tim Cullerton and his wife Nancy stopped to vote at City Volkswagon on February 22, 2011 in the 38th ward . | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: March 22, 2011 5:54PM

Even Oprah Winfrey couldn’t have given Chicago’s City Council a more massive makeover than the one it got Tuesday.

At least 10 new people will fill the Council chambers, and there could be even more fresh faces as at least nine incumbent aldermen appeared headed toward runoffs on April 5.

That included the Council’s oldest member, Bernard Stone, in the 50th Ward.

Stone, 83, faced stiff competition from Debra Silverstein, an accountant and the wife of state Sen. Ira Silverstein, the ward’s Democratic committeeman.

Stone was confident of eventual victory. He was leading Silverstein 37.2 percent to 33.8 percent, with 98 percent of the precincts reporting.

“Look, I’m in the runoff,” Stone said Tuesday night. “That’s not the question. I’m leading. That’s not the question.”

The other aldermen heading to runoffs include Toni Foulkes (15th) and JoAnn Thompson (16th) on the Southwest Side. Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) will go one-on-one with hip-hop artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith on the South Side.

In the 24th Ward, first-term incumbent Sharon Denise Dixon will go head-to-head again with former Ald. Michael Chandler, whom she previously defeated in a tight runoff.

Roderick Sawyer, the son of former Chicago Mayor and Ald. Eugene Sawyer, appeared to have forced 6th Ward Ald. Freddrenna Lyle into a runoff as well.

“I’m happy to be alive to fight another day,” Sawyer said. “I think my father would be glad we are continuing on with this fight.”

Sawyer was the only one of the five children of former Chicago aldermen running in the aldermanic elections to have gotten as far as a runoff. The rest lost.

In the 17th Ward, Ald. Latasha Thomas will be in a runoff after she won 48.7 percent of the vote. She’ll face David Moore, who beat out six other candidates with 19.7 percent.

Other aldermen falling short of the mark were Danny Solis (25th) and John Rice (36th), the former top aide and handpicked successor to retired Ald. William Banks.

Other anointed successors fared even more poorly.

In the race to replace Ald. Pat Levar (45th), Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido and businessman John Arena were heading to a runoff, beating out favorite Marina Yolanda Faz-Huppert, a union political director.

Garrido led with 32.5 percent of the vote and Arena had 22.6 percent with all precincts reporting.

In an upset in the 47th Ward, Ameya Pawar, who works in the Office of Emergency Management at Northwestern University, took out Tom O’Donnell, an aide to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

O’Donnell had been endorsed by the retiring alderman, Gene Schulter, as well as Rahm Emanuel, in a mailer sent out to residents.

“The one thing I can say about this race: The community is energized, and it seems alive,” a stunned Pawar said. “People want something different. They just want a voice.”

“I haven’t even had a chance to process this,” Pawar said.

In the race to replace Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, William D. “Will” Burns, a state representative, easily won the 4th Ward seat despite a crowded field of seven candidates.

Two clear contenders emerged in the battle to take the seat of the departing Ald. Helen Shiller in the 46th Ward.

James Cappleman, a clinical social worker, and attorney Mary Anne “Molly” Phelan were separated by six votes with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. Each candidate received about 20 percent of the vote.

In the 48th Ward, state Rep. Harry Osterman was easily winning the race to replace Ald. Mary Ann Smith with more than 81 percent of the vote.

Contributing: Lisa Donovan, Mark Konkol and Monifa Thomas

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