Special Service Area #42 commissioner Adrienne Irmer was knocked off the 5th Ward ballot after a successful challenge to her residency within the ward. Credit: Facebook

SOUTH SHORE — Adrienne Irmer, a candidate for 5th Ward alderperson, will not appear on February’s ballot after elections officials determined her home is outside the ward under both the current and prior ward maps.

Irmer lives in the 8th Ward, making her ineligible to appear on the 5th Ward ballot, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners ruled Friday.

City Council candidates generally are required to have lived in their ward for at least a year prior to the election. Because the ward boundaries were redrawn in 2022, candidates can run for office in any ward that includes a part of the ward they lived in before redistricting, the elections board announced in October.

But 8th Ward residents are only eligible to run in the 6th, 7th and 8th wards under those rules. The 5th and 8th Ward boundaries never overlapped, so Irmer can’t be elected as 5th Ward alderperson, commissioners said.

Irmer appealed that finding, arguing through her lawyer that the new 5th and old 8th wards overlap along the Chicago Skyway, according to a summary of the hearing.

Commissioners denied Irmer’s appeal following testimony from elections board consultant Larry Hanson, who told the board he “did the redistricting this year” by creating the new maps and found no overlap between the wards.

“The provenance of [Hanson’s] maps was more reliable than the maps that were introduced by [Irmer,] who offered no testimonial evidence from an expert who had been involved in the 2022 redistricting or remapping process,” hearing officer Linda Crane wrote.

Irmer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A South Shore resident of 19 years, Irmer joined the 5th Ward race in September and was endorsed by former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the first Black woman elected to the Senate.

Irmer is a public policy administrator at the Illinois Institute of Technology and an appointed commissioner of Special Service Area No. 42 in South Shore. She placed fourth in the 2018 Democratic primary for the Illinois House, which was won by now-Rep. Curtis Tarver.

Her disqualification leaves 11 hopefuls vying for the seat representing parts of Hyde Park, Woodlawn and South Shore.

Longtime Ald. Leslie Hairston, first elected in 1999, announced in August she would not seek reelection


Help Block Club Get
500 More Subscribers!

Subscribe to Block Club now and you’ll get a free 16-by-20-inch Chicago neighborhood print of your choice, helping us reach our goal of getting 500 more subscribers before 2024. Click here to subscribe or click here to gift a subscription.

Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: