CHICAGO — Longtime Ald. Deb Mell (33rd) is heading to a likely runoff with challenger Rossana Rodriguez after failing to land the majority of the vote.
With 96.45 percent of precincts reporting, Mell and Rodriguez were tied — each with 41.59 percent of the vote.
A third candidate, Katie Sieracki, had the remaining 16.81 percent of the vote.
Rodriguez, a community activist, said in a Tuesday night statement that these numbers signified an end to Chicago’s machine politics.
“We’ve been told for such a long time what isn’t possible,” Rodriguez said in the statement. “We are going to build a new 33rd Ward — not for the rich and powerful few, but for the many — for immigrants, for students and seniors, and for all working people.”
If elected in April, Rodriguez will make history as the ward’s first Latinx alderman.
The diverse 33rd Ward has a low crime rate and some thriving business strips, but could use more affordable housing, candidates said throughout the race.
Mell’s two challengers touted similar beliefs: more affordable housing, more funding for public schools and protecting immigrant communities and LGBTQ residents.
Rodriguez’s popularity among progressive groups was evidenced by her 13 endorsements, which included nods from the National Nurses Union, Democratic Socialists of America and the Chicago Teachers Union.
A few elected officials, from Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa to State Rep. Will Guzzardi, also supported Rodriguez-Sanchez.
Mell was endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the Equality Illinois PAC and the Chicago AFL-CIO.
The 33rd Ward covers parts of Ravenswood Manor, Avondale, Albany Park and Irving Park.