LINCOLN PARK — After failing to secure more than 50 percent of the vote in the 43rd Ward, Ald. Michele Smith will face an April 2 runoff against venture capitalist and former staffer for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Derek Lindblom.
With 89 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Smith had 38 percent of the vote and Lindblom had 28 percent.
“We are feeling good but the campaign is far from over,” Smith said. “We’ve got a little bit of work to do and then we are right back at it.”
Despite her election history, this may have been Smith’s toughest election yet. She faced multiple challengers with sizable campaign war chests.
Lindblom ran a campaign that garnered more individual campaign contributions than any other candidate in the 43rd Ward.
“The 43rd Ward runoff presents a stark choice between a status quo alderman who thinks she can tax her way out of the city’s problems and a challenger who is ready to dismantle the City Council culture of side jobs and financial neglect,” he said. “Reform is finally coming to City Council and it’s starting in the 43rd ward.”
Lindblom tipped his cap to the other challengers.
Unlike in 2015, this race was mostly a cordial one.
“The other challengers ran great campaigns and I have tremendous respect for the work and ideas they brought to the table,” he said. “This race and this ward are both better because of them.”
The huge Lincoln Yards development took center stage at many of the political debates. But for the most part, the candidates agreed they needed more before approving the project, so the issue was moot.
Crime within the ward was also a hot-button issue as the 43rd Ward has seen an uptick in violent crime and carjackings recently.
Smith said she feels confident she will secure a third term as alderman.
“We believe that we’ll win and I’m looking forward to serving my constituents,” she said.