LINCOLN PARK — Brian Comer has conceded in the 43rd Ward race to incumbent Ald. Timmy Knudsen, securing Knudsen’s first full term representing Lincoln Park and Old Town.
Comer called Knudsen on Tuesday to congratulate him on his victory, he told Block Club.
“I told him that this is my forever home, so my goal is to make sure that our community keeps getting better and I hope he can deliver on all his campaign promises,” Comer said. “I’m here to help our community move forward, and by extension, that means being of [assistance] to him as he leads our ward for the next four years.”
Initial election returns showed Knudsen leading a contentious race with 52 percent of the vote. Knudsen declared victory April 4 after all precincts reported results. Knudsen’s lead has grown slightly over the past week as mail-in ballots are counted, results show.
Comer will continue serving as president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association, a founding member of the 43rd Ward Alliance and a police beat facilitator for the Near North (18th) District, he said.
“We’re really proud of the election we ran,” Comer said. “And I love our neighbors and the 43rd Ward, so I just want to see the ship right itself, and I hope we can start doing that. But I’m here in the community, willing to help and heal.”
In a statement, Knudsen said Comer’s campaign raised “important issues” and he appreciates his perspective as a neighborhood group leader.
“After a spirited campaign, I vow to be a leader who bridges the gap, listens to all parts of our ward and unites our community,” Knudsen said. “We all share a common goal of making the 43rd Ward the best it could be, and I”ll seek to uplift that good within our community every single day.”
This will be Knudsen’s first full term as alderman since he was appointed last year to replace the retiring Ald. Michele Smith’s. He will be sworn in with the new City Council on May 15.
At 32, Knudsen is City Council’s youngest alderman. He’s also the first openly gay representative of the 43rd Ward.
Looking ahead, Knudsen plans to continue focusing on public safety and work on policies focusing on environmental infrastructure like community composting and more electric vehicle charging accessibility.
Knudsen was a partner at Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres before becoming alderman.
Knudsen also founded the pro-bono practice at his law firm, which represents LGBTQ asylum seekers in Chicago and Tijuana, Mexico. He’s given legal services to more than 40 asylum seekers through this work, he said.
Citing public safety as one of the top issues affecting Chicago, Knudsen’s first move in office was to reallocate his office’s menu dollars to fund more security cameras and license plate readers across the ward.
Knudsen also plans to work with the new 18th and 19th district police councils to bring more officers back to the area, he said.
Knudsen has highlighted “fiscal responsibility” as his No. 2 focus in the ward, emphasizing that he supported the city’s latest budget, which “invests in our priorities like public safety and makes an advance pension payment — all without a property tax increase.”
To improve constituent services, Knudsen has started implementing technology that he hopes will help his office respond to 311 calls more efficiently.
With several City Council members leaving office, Knudsen said he sees an opportunity to build coalitions with other new alderpeople to bring a new approach to solving the city’s problems.
“My goal is to work together with new-housers who want to be pragmatic and get things done,” Knudsen previously said. “It’s been fun to do that with the other appointees and bring in an approach that is truly fresh.”
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