AUSTIN — Ald. Chris Taliaferro scraped by with a majority of votes Tuesday to potentially avoid a runoff in his bid for a third term leading the 29th Ward.
With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, the incumbent held 50.5 percent of the vote to challengers CB Johnson’s 40.5 percent and Corey Dooley’s 8.9 percent.
Candidates need at least 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff April 4.
The ward includes parts of Austin, Belmont Cragin, Galewood, Dunning and Montclare.
Taliaferro faced criticism from challengers that he wasn’t committed to the position, after running an unsuccessful bid for a Cook County judge post in June.
Johnson — a lifelong Austin resident well-known in the neighborhood for helping drug users get recovery — had a high-profile endorsement from Rep. Danny Davis. At 25, Dooley pitched himself as becoming one of the youngest alderman in city history who could bring new leadership after a major turnaround in City Hall. Taliaferro’s team unsuccessfully sought to have Dooley booted from the ballot.
A marine sergeant and a 23-year veteran of the Police Department, Taliaferro leads the city’s powerful public safety committee. He’s called for the firing of cops with white supremacist ties and oversaw the passing of an independent civilian oversight body to the police department.
Taliaferro hopes to push for construction progress on major projects, like social service hub Aspire Center, planned at the site of a shuttered school, and a new small-business sector called Soul City Corridor, along Austin’s stretch of Chicago Avenue.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.
Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.
Listen to “The Ballot: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: