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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

Ald. Howard Brookins Could Face Runoff Against Marvin McNeil Again In 21st Ward

Ald. Howard Brookins beat Marvin McNeil in a runoff in 2015, and appears on the brink of a rematch.

Ald. Howard Brookins and Marvin McNeil are running for 21st Ward alderman.
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CHATHAM — Ald. Howard Brookins could be looking at a rematch in his bid for a fourth term.

The 21st Ward alderman, with 80 percent of precincts counted, didn’t get more than 50 percent of the vote needed to win outright. He had 45.5 percent.

If that holds after the final precincts come in and the mail-in ballots are counted, he’ll face challenger Marvin McNeil in an April 2 runoff. Brookins got taken to a runoff by McNeil four years ago.

The other challengers, Patricia Foster and Joseph Ziegler, got 19 percent and 10 percent of the vote, respectively.

Brookins, a Mendel Catholic alumnus, again faced entrepreneurs McNeil and Ziegler, both of whom ran against him in 2015. McNeil was able to force a runoff in 2015 but ultimately lost with 49.2 percent of the vote.

Brookins, a former public defender and assistant state’s attorney, was endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this month.

Often accused by opponents — and a few residents — of being inaccessible and ineffective, Brookins, a funeral home director, was fined $5,000 in 2017 for failing to keep track of hours worked by his chief of staff, Curtis Thompson Jr., and four other aides. Thompson served a 15-month prison term after being convicted of bribery.

The 21st Ward includes parts of Auburn Gresham and Washington Heights.