Bennett Lawson (left) was endorsed by Ald. Tom Tunney to replace him as 44th Ward alderman. Credit: Provided

LAKEVIEW — Bennett Lawson, chief of staff to Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney, has announced his campaign to replace him as 44th Ward alderman.

Lawson announced his campaign Tuesday morning, hours after Tunney revealed he’s retiring at the end of his term after 19 years serving Lakeview. Lawson, who was appointed chief of staff in 2007 and previously served as director of community outreach, was endorsed by Tunney.

“I am proud to announce my candidacy today for 44th Ward Alderman,” Lawson said in a news release. “I have dedicated my career to public service, largely focused on improving Lakeview to be the strong community it is today. I know that my experience, relationships and passion for helping others will help me effectively serve the ward on day one.”

Lawson has established himself as the liaison to the 44th Ward’s business and civic communities, according to his announcement.

Lawson helped with projects like the Center on Halsted’s construction, the redevelopment of the old Town Hall Police Station into an LGBTQ senior living facility and the construction of Howard Brown Health’s new health clinic.

Lawson also helped with the Whole Foods and Mariano’s developments and pushed to increase affordable housing within Lakeview, according to the announcement. He’s also worked closely with the local police district on crime prevention strategies.

Lawson said he’s also passionate about outreach to LGBTQ people and people living with HIV/AIDS and helping nonprofits obtain funding for programs.

Tunney endorsed Lawson’s campaign, praising his “leadership skills, his ability to further enhance the progress and vitality we have achieved in the Lakeview community and his knowledge of how to work successfully with residents, businesses and the many individuals and departments that make up our city government.”

“For nearly two decades, Bennett has been an invaluable asset to this ward as he has tirelessly advocated for its residents and businesses alike, offering pragmatic solutions and meeting constituent needs,” Tunney said in a statement. “Lakeview residents expect a leader that knows how to balance local business interests with the quality of life of our residents, and I am thrilled he wants to step up to serve our community as alderman.”

Tunney said electing Lawson would ensure a “seamless transition of leadership” when he retires in May.

“I’ve been fortunate to work alongside Ald. Tunney for many years to make Lakeview a vibrant place for our residents, and I’m honored that he is putting his trust in me to continue a steady legacy of service to our community,” Lawson said.

Before joining Tunney’s office, Lawson worked as state Sen. Carol Ronen’s district director, where he was responsible for constituent services, according to his announcement. He’s also the “proud son of a teacher” and attended public schools before going to Loyola University for his bachelor’s degree. He lives in Lakeview with his husband, Pete.

More information can be found on Lawson’s campaign website.

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