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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Candidates Aiming To Replace Munoz In 22nd Ward To Face Off Thursday In Little Village

This will be the first time the 22nd Ward will have a new alderman in more than 25 years.

From left to right: Neftalie Gonzalez, Richard Juarez, Lisette Lopez, and Michael D. Rodriguez are running for 22nd Ward alderman.

LITTLE VILLAGE — Four candidates vying for the seat being vacated by Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) will face off in a forum in Little Village Thursday night.

The 22nd ward aldermanic forum is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Thursday at Little Village Lawndale High School, 3120 S. Kostner Ave. Residents can RSVP online. 

The four candidates — Neftalie Gonzalez, Richard Juarez, Lisette Lopez and Michael D. Rodriguez — will attend the forum, Block Club Chicago confirmed.

Related: Ald. Ricardo Muñoz Says He Won’t Seek Re-election

The event is hosted by Enlace Chicago, League of Women Voters of Chicago and Univision. The candidates will discuss a range of local and citywide issues. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish will also be offered.

Another forum is scheduled from 6-8:30 p.m Feb. 5 with candidates from the 22nd and 12th wards at Universidad Popular, 2801 S. Hamlin Ave. Candidates will discuss environmental issues impacting Southwest Side neighborhoods.

RELATED: Who Will Be The Next Alderman Of The 22nd Ward?

Last summer, Muñoz announced he would not be seeking re-election, leaving the race wide open.

Earlier this year, all of the 22nd Ward candidates called for Muñoz to resign after he was arrested when his wife said he hit her on New Year’s Eve.

RELATED: Ald. Ricardo Muñoz Arrested After Domestic Incident, Police Say

Muñoz, a leader in City’s Council’s Progressive Reform Caucus, was first appointed to the 22nd Ward seat by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1993 to replace Jesus “Chuy” Garcia after Garcia was elected to the State Senate.

Muñoz has offered his support to candidate Rodriguez, who is the executive officer of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office and previously worked as the executive director of Enlace, a nonprofit organization focused on education, health, immigration and violence prevention in Little Village.

The 22nd Ward includes all or parts of Little Village, Brighton Park, and Lawndale.

The municipal election is Feb. 26. If no candidate in a aldermanic race receives a majority of votes, they’ll head to a runoff election April 2.

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