SOUTH SHORE — Two challengers are campaigning to oust Ald. Greg Mitchell in the 7th Ward as the incumbent angles for a third term in office.
Professional mediator Jocilyn Floyd and businessperson Anthony “Tony” Blair are running against Mitchell to represent the 7th Ward in City Council. The ward covers parts of South Shore, South Chicago, Calumet Heights and South Deering.
Mitchell was elected 7th Ward alderperson in 2015, beating then-Ald. Natashia Holmes. Mitchell finished second behind Holmes in that year’s general election, but he won a runoff handily with 56.5 percent of the vote.
Mitchell was reelected in 2019, easily defeating his two challengers in the general election.
All three candidates are facing challenges to their placement on the 2023 ballot. Margaret Murphy-Webb challenged Mitchell’s residency within the ward, while Nathaniel A. Moore challenged the validity of signatures on Blair and Floyd’s nominating petitions.
The election is Feb. 28. If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will go to a runoff April 4.
The aldermanic hopefuls:
The two-term incumbent is the treasurer of City Council’s Black Caucus.
Mitchell’s priorities as alderperson have been to ensure “safer streets, quality schools and responsible economic development,” according to his ward website. He has called for more investment in South Shore’s blighted 75th Street and 79th Street corridors during his time in office.
Mitchell voted for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposals to sue gang members for their assets and extend and expand a citywide curfew on youth this year, according to the Reader.
Mitchell is a former financial analyst and information technology specialist. He’s a Kenwood Academy graduate and native of Jeffery Manor who lives in Calumet Heights.
Floyd is a South Shore resident making her first bid for the 7th Ward office.
Floyd’s platform prioritizes housing equity for Black residents, economic development, public safety, affordable housing and addressing real estate blight.
Floyd is a professional mediator. She recently mediated a discussion about the Pharaoh Gentlemen’s Spa, which was turned down for a key city permit in October amid rumors the business would actually be a strip club. Floyd voiced support for Pharaoh’s during the meeting.
“I decided to run for alderperson after being asked by a number of people who wanted to open businesses in the ward and hit a brick wall with the current alderperson,” Floyd said in a statement.
Anthony “Tony” Blair
Blair is a South Shore resident who owns Chicago Quick Signs in Greater Grand Crossing.
Blair’s called for job opportunities, violence prevention and resources for “high-risk” residents ages 18-25 in the ward, according to his personal Facebook page.
Blair graduated from Harlan Community Academy and served in the Navy. He does not have an active website or Facebook page for his campaign.
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