Skip to contents
Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Jim Gardiner Unseats Ald. John Arena In 45th Ward Upset

Ald. John Arena (45th) is a member of the City Council’s progressive caucus and has faced fierce opposition in his Northwest Side ward for promoting affordable housing.

Jim Gardiner, left, a Chicago Fire Department EMT, ousted incumbent Ald. John Arena.
Provided
  • Credibility:

IRVING PARK — Chicago Fire Department EMT Jim Gardiner defeated incumbent Ald. John Arena in the 45th ward.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Gardiner had 51.37 percent of the vote to Arena’s 35.87 percent. Challengers Bob Banks and Marilyn Morales each had less than 10 percent of the vote.

Credit: Alex Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
Jim Gardiner supporters celebrate at his Election Night party.

Arena is a member of the City Council’s progressive caucus and has faced fierce opposition in his Northwest Side ward for promoting affordable housing, including his support of a planned affordable housing development at 5150 N. Northwest Highway.

“We’re disappointed in the results, but I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to build an inclusive, diverse and safe community,” Arena said. “I will continue to look forward to finding places to work to continue to move our community forward.”

Gardiner would not comment on his victory. The future alderman asked a Block Club Chicago reporter to leave his election party after demanding an apology for coverage of an emergency order of protection filed in March of 2017 by a woman who used to date Gardiner.

The 45th Ward includes Jefferson Park, Gladstone Park, Old Irving Park and parts of Portage Park and Forest Glen on the city’s Northwest Side.

Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.