BELMONT CRAGIN — Ald. Felix Cardona is set to serve his second term as 31st Ward alderperson after defeating political newcomer Esteban Burgoa Ontañon.
With 22 of 23 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Cardona held 75 percent of the vote to Burgoa Ontañon’s 17 percent, sealing Cardona’s second term.
The ward covers parts of Belmont Cragin, Hermosa and Portage Park.
Cardona, a Logan Square native, took office in 2019 after forcing former Ald. Milly Santiago into a runoff and winning with about 54 percent of the vote.
Before becoming an alderperson, Cardona worked for the Cook County’s Assessor’s Office and served on the Cook County Board of Review.
Over the past four years, Cardona has helped increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and worked with Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) to fight for the rights of older people in senior living apartments, which Cardona has said were highlights of his term.
Last year, Cardona voted in favor of the city’s new ward map, breaking away from the Latino Caucus to support the version backed by the Black Caucus.
In 2021, Cardona also supported the controversial proposal for the Chicago Fire training facility at Hanson Park in Belmont Cragin, which has now been scrapped. Cardona said the stadium’s location in the neighboring 36th Ward would have led to greater development in the area, brought more people into the neighborhoods and helped support local businesses.
Cardona’s sole challenger, Ontañon, moved to Chicago when he was 16. This was Ontañon’s first time on the ballot, but he has been active in the community for decades. He served on local school councils through the ’80s and ’90s and as chairman of Springfield’s Student Advisory Council in 2001.
Ontañon’s also a Navy veteran and was deployed overseas in 2003 to serve during the Iraq War.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: