Skip to contents
Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Ald. George Cardenas Appears To Narrowly Avoid A Runoff And Win Another Term In 12th Ward

Cardenas got 50.3 percent of the vote.

Pete DeMay, left, and Jose Rico, center, Ald. George Cardenas, right.
  • Credibility:

LITTLE VILLAGE — Ald. George Cardenas (12th) appears to have narrowly avoided getting forced into a runoff election by getting just over 50 percent of the vote.

Cardenas faced off against union organizer Pete DeMay, former child care director Martha Rangel and Jose Rico, a former CPS principal who worked for the Obama Administration.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cardenas got 50.3 percent of the vote, according to the Board of Elections. He needed to get more than 50 percent for an outright victory and avoid a runoff.

DeMay and Rico both got 17 percent of the vote. Rangel garnered 15.6 percent.

Vote-by-mail ballots have yet to be calculated, but it’s unclear if there are enough to lower Cardenas under the 50-percent threshold.

Cardenas could not be reached immediately Tuesday night.

DeMay, a union organizer for Workers United — a Service Employees International Union affiliate — campaigned on addressing public safety concerns and bringing more funding to neighborhood schools and parks and tackling environmental justice issues.

Rico, a senior vice president for community impact at United Way Metro Chicago and former executive director of the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics under the Obama administration, campaigned on revitalizing business districts in the ward, advocating for more education funding for schools in the ward and tackling environmental pollution in the neighborhood.

Last month, the three challengers defeated petition challenges and the Board of Elections decided their names would make the ballot.

In 2015, Cardenas ran unopposed for his fourth term after DeMay was knocked off the ballot.

Cardenas was first elected to office in 2003.

The 12th Ward includes parts of Little Village, Back of the Yards, Brighton Park and McKinley Park neighborhoods.

Check out our full election guide at Chi.Vote.