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Jaime Andrade, ex-aide to Ald. Dick Mell, gets Deb Mell’s House seat

Updated: September 14, 2013 6:31AM

SPRINGFIELD — Ward committeemen on the Northwest Side on Monday overwhelmingly chose a former top aide to ex-Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) to succeed Mell’s daughter in the Illinois House.

Jaime M. Andrade Jr., 40, who lives in the Irving Park neighborhood, was picked to take over for former Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago), who moved into the City Council seat held by her father until last month.

Andrade was the former alderman’s longtime top assistant and served as the City Council’s assistant sergeant-at-arms. His appointment was first tipped in July by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed.

The 40th House District is a predominantly Hispanic, Northwest Side legislative district bisected by the Kennedy Expy. that includes parts of Albany Park, Avondale, Irving Park and Logan Square.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Andrade said education and housing will be his top two issues in Springfield.

“You have to provide a good environment for your kids, for seniors and your family,” Andrade said. “Those are the two main, important issues.”

Andrade also described himself as an advocate of same-sex marriage legislation, which was a priority for former Deb Mell, who is the City Council’s first openly lesbian alderman.

“I can’t tell them who they can fall in love with,” Andrade said.

Andrade drew 75 percent of the weighted vote from the six committeemen who represent the 40th House District. His challengers included Mel Ferrand, a Chicago Public Schools librarian, and Audrey Cosgrove, an attorney.

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