WEST LOOP — Ald. Walter Burnett was reelected Tuesday night after running unopposed, sealing his eighth term in City Council.
The veteran alderman unchallenged in the race for the first time since 2007. First elected in 1995, Burnett overwhelmingly won reelection bids in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
At a recent event, Burnett said he is “flattered” and “humbled” to be stepping into the role of longest-serving alderman.
“Never thought that in my wildest dreams that I would be the longest-serving alderman,” Burnett said at a West Loop luncheon Thursday.
Only former Alds. Ed Burke (14th) and Carrie Austin (34th) have been on the council longer. Both stepped down — along with at least 14 other colleagues.
Burnett is expecting an explosion of growth in the 27th Ward, specifically in the West Loop, he previously told Block Club Chicago.
“I think the West Loop is going to continue to go after things. I expect that we’ll be back settled economically in a couple of more years. … All that’s going to do is help to push more development going west, north and south,” Burnett previously said.
Priorities for his eighth term include developing Chicago’s first casino. City Council approved the Bally’s casino proposal at the Tribune Publishing Plant in River West in May. The permanent site sits in Burnett’s ward, while the temporary site at the Medinah Temple is in neighboring Ald. Brendan Reilly’s 42nd Ward.
Additionally Burnett plans to add more CTA stops, specifically the Damen Street Green Line station. He also has his sights set on an additional “L” stop at Orleans and Chicago Avenue and a Metra stop at Ashland Avenue and Kinzie Street.
The new 27tth Ward boundaries, which go into effect when the new City Council forms in May, include much of the West Loop, Cabrini Green, Goose Island, River West, Fulton Market, Near West Side and parts of Humboldt Park and Garfield Park.
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