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Daley nephew topped primary foes in fund-raising but not in votes

How Patrick Daley Thompson finished in the election



Here’s how Patrick Daley Thompson fared in the Democratic primary for three available seats on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board. This chart shows his city and suburban Cook County vote totals, while the map shows where he finished in Chicago wards and suburban Cook County townships:

Candidate / City / Suburban / Total

1. Debra Shore / 111,953 / 82,983 / 194,936

2. Kari K. Steele / 111,853 / 70,516 / 182,369

3. Patrick Daley Thompson / 92,377 / 69,952 / 162,329

4. Patricia Young / 75,723 / 53,947 / 129,670

5. Patricia Horton / 82,738 / 45,694 / 128,432

6. Stella B. Black / 74,636 / 50,511 / 125,147

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Updated: May 24, 2012 8:03AM

Patrick Daley Thompson, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, raised more money than all of his Democratic primary opponents combined in his bid to be elected a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, newly released records show.

Despite that edge in campaign cash and an endorsement from the Cook County Democratic Party, he didn’t lead the pack on election night last month.

The 42-year-old attorney finished third of six Democrats seeking one of three seats on the board that oversees sewage treatment in Chicago and most of Cook County. He beat former water-reclamation Commissioner Patricia Young by more than 32,000 votes to win the last Democratic slot on the November ballot and — if past general elections are any indication — should win election in the fall.

He says his third-place finish didn’t surprise him.

“There were five other candidates running who ran for this office before; some had run for additional offices,” says Thompson, the first member of the third generation of Daleys to seek public office. “I knew it was going to be a challenge, but we worked hard. And the way it’s set up, the top three vote-getters win. From that perspective, I was satisfied.”

Thompson’s uncle, the former mayor who left office nearly a year ago, continues to face criticism for the city’s budget problems and particularly for the deal that privatized Chicago’s parking meters. Even so, Thompson has no plans to change his ballot name, “Patrick Daley Thompson,” in the fall.

Any voter unhappiness with the Daley name probably proved less of a factor in Thompson’s third-place finish than historical Cook County political behavior, says former 44th Ward Ald. Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Thompson finished third along the North Shore, as well as on Chicago’s North Side and throughout the north suburbs, election records show — heavily white areas won by incumbent Commissioner Debra Shore of Skokie, who was the top primary vote-getter overall.

Thompson finished last in heavily black wards on Chicago’s South Side and Far West Side, which were dominated by the field’s two African-American candidates, led by chemist Kari K. Steele, who finished second. She’s the daughter of Illinois appellate judge and former Chicago Ald. John O. Steele (6th).

Thompson finished first in near South Side and Southwest Side wards, many of which continue to be controlled by white politicians even as they’ve become more racially diverse. They include Thompson’s home 11th Ward — where he lives in the same Bridgeport bungalow where his late grandfather Richard J. Daley raised his family — as well as the 13th Ward, controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan, and the 14th Ward, led by Ald. Edward M. Burke.Thompson

also finished first in the Southwest Side’s 19th Ward — known for its concentration of police, firefighters and other city workers — and in southwest suburban townships.

“Without party backing in the old machine wards run by the old machine bosses, he wouldn’t have made it,” Simpson says. “That’s the strongest thing I can see in the numbers.”

Simpson doesn’t see anyone beating Thompson, Steele and Shore in November because the others who’ll be on the ballot — Republican Harold “Noonie” Ward and the Green Party’s Julie Samuels, Dave Ehrlich and Karen Roothaan — aren’t as well-known to voters.

Since forming his campaign committee in October, Thompson has raised $257,677. The other five candidates raised a combined $219,327 in the nearly eight months leading to the primary. That includes $99,380 raised by Shore and $49,054 by Steele.

Campaign-finance reports filed last week show Thompson’s contributors included Kevin D. McCarthy, an acquaintance of Thompson’s cousin, Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko. McCarthy gave $250 to Thompson on Feb. 15 as Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin was considering whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the 2004 death of David Koschman, whom the police concluded Vanecko struck during a confrontation that also involved McCarthy.

Neither McCarthy nor Vanecko has been charged with any crime relating to Koschman’s death.

On April 6, Toomin ruled that he’ll appoint a special prosecutor to re-examine the Koschman case.

Thompson notes that McCarthy is among more than 700 people who have contributed to his campaign. “I know Kevin, but I don’t know if he mailed [the contribution] in or if it came from a fund-raiser,” he says.

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