HUMBOLDT PARK — Incumbent Ald. Roberto Maldonado declared victory in the 26th Ward race Wednesday, narrowly avoiding a runoff.
As of Wednesday night, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Maldonado won 50.7 percent of the vote, followed most closely by Theresa Siaw, who landed 28.2 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results provided by the Chicago Board of Elections.
A third challenger, local developer David Herrera, won 21.1 percent of the vote.
Candidates need to win more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff against the second-place finisher.
Maldonado declared victory in a Facebook post Wednesday night.
“The victories most hard-fought are the most rewarding,” he wrote.
Maldonado looked poised to narrowly avoid the runoff late Tuesday, but with totals from two precincts still out, he said at his campaign party at Humble Bar, 3018 W. North Ave., that he couldn’t declare victory yet.
Meanwhile, Siaw vowed to challenge the results if Maldonado is found victorious.
“I’m going to challenge it no matter what,” Siaw told Block Club at her campaign party Tuesday night, held at Output Lounge, 1758 W. Grand Ave.
Maldonado has held the seat since 2009. He was appointed by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.
The 26th Ward, which includes Humboldt Park, Logan Square, West Town and Hermosa, has changed since Maldonado was first elected. Driven in part by The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail, home prices in the area have skyrocketed, which has left longtime residents feeling the squeeze of gentrification.
How to keep the 26th Ward affordable while also spurring economic development was the key issue throughout the campaign.
Before she ran for alderman, Siaw was the director of a health clinic with a location on Humboldt Park’s Division Street. At a recent debate, it was Maldonado and Herrera — not Maldonado and Siaw — who sparred. But Maldonado and Siaw exchanged attack ads toward the end.
Last election cycle, Maldonado narrowly won re-election after securing 52 percent of the vote.
Before becoming alderman, Maldonado served as a Cook County Board member. When he was younger, he worked as psychologist for Chicago Public Schools and ran a mortgage-banking firm.
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