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Bronzeville, Near South Side

State Rep. Lamont Robinson The Latest To Announce Bid For Ald. Sophia King’s 4th Ward Seat

Robinson, the first Black LGBTQ+ member of the Illinois General Assembly, is the fifth candidate to enter the race.

State Rep. Lamont Robinson invited transgender community members to Springfield to meet with other elected officials to discuss their community's needs.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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GRAND BOULEVARD — Another local official is vying for the 4th Ward aldermanic seat.

State Rep. Lamont Robinson announced his campaign Saturday at a kickoff party at Ain’t She Sweet Cafe, 528 E. 43rd St. He hopes to fill Ald. Sophia King’s seat as King challenges Mayor Lori Lightfoot for the top spot at City Hall, leaving her seat open if she stays in the mayoral race.

Robinson’s announcement comes days after Prentice Butler, King’s chief of staff, revealed his plans to run for his boss’ seat. Robinson and Butler join an ever-growing field of candidates hoping to represent Kenwood, Bronzeville and Oakland in City Hall, including former City Hall youth policy director Khari Humphries, Ebony Lucas and Tracey Y. Bey.

Robinson has represented the 5th District — which includes parts of Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Douglas and The Loop — in the Illinois House since 2019.

“I would like to have a more immediate impact on the needs of my neighborhood,” Robinson said in a statement. “It’s hard to focus on localized issues on the state level and really bring the targeted support that my community needs. I would like to do that as the next 4th Ward alderman.”

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Buildings and vacant land in Bronzeville, as seen from above 40th and State streets on April 13, 2022.

As the state’s first openly LGBTQ+ Black lawmaker, the Chatham native has focused on jobs, housing and other resources for LGBTQ+ and trans residents, securing $15 million in state funding for the construction of a community center on the South Side.

The Clark Atlanta University alumnus is also a business owner, operating two Allstate Insurance agencies on the South Side. During unrest in 2020, Robinson was one of several public officials calling for more police as entrepreneurs in his district suffered losses.

Robinson already has the support of the 4th Ward Democratic Organization and county Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who served five terms as 4th Ward alderwoman from 1991 to 2010.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed King to the 4th Ward seat in 2016 after William Burns’ abruptly left City Hall. That forced a special election in 2017, in which King prevailed over Lucas and Gregory Livingston.

King won reelection in 2019, defeating Lucas again.

The election is Feb. 28.

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