Primary Election Spotlight: Let’s Talk About the 1st and 32nd Wards

By at March 15, 2012 | 5:35 am | Print

Voting, it does a democracy good! In theory. In practice, Chi-town plebes aren’t rockin’ the vote much. Maybe it’s because we reside in one of the most – no make that the most corrupt city in the nation, according to a recent study– and we figure, ‘Why bother?’

Or perhaps, as Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich points out, “The Thrill is Gone.” In a recent column, Schmich noted that only 1.2 million of the 1.7 million Chicagoans eligible to register to vote in the 2012 primary election had done so.

Derrick Smith, center, speaks at a 1st Ward 1st Fundraiser July 15, 2011

Rather than bypass covering the election entirely, we’ve decided to stop whining and compile some information on the upcoming election, ranging from who’s on the ballot [and who’s not- yes, we’re referring to Derrick Smith, just arrested for taking  $7,000 bribe and is thus out of the running for retaining his 10th District State Rep. seat], whom or what entities they enjoy endorsements from, and where you can go to exercise your right to vote next Tuesday, March 20th, 2012. For our part, we’re deferring to the phrase: “May the best man [or woman] win.”

Chicago-Pipeline’s coverage area encompasses the 1st and 32nd Wards. Not sure of which ward you reside in? Visit the city’s website to find out your ward and alderman. 1st Ward residents (Ald. ‘Proco’ Joe Moreno) have 48 places to vote. 32nd Ward residents (Ald. Scott Waguespack) have 52 places to vote.  Click HERE to visit the Board of Election Commissioner’s website to type in your address and find the polling place nearest to where you live. 

In the upcoming primary, Chicago voters will cast ballots to elect Ward Committeemen for their political parties. A ward committeeman or committeewoman, per Wikipedia, is an unpaid volunteer tasked with “responsibilities that include voter registration, community forums, election materials, and election operations. In addition, the committeemen are responsible for producing smooth political processes during the elections in their wards, which includes attempting to produce high voter turnout.” (Photo #1: Incumbent 1st Ward Committeeman Jesse Ruben Juarez smiles for Phlash’s camera, photo by Philin Phlash).

About two-thirds of Chicago’s 50 aldermen or alderwoman also serve as their ward’s committeeman. In the Pipeline’s coverage area, there is a hotly contested three-way-race for 1st Ward Committeemen starring one time allies 1st Ward Alderman ‘Proco’ Joe Moreno and incumbent committeeman Jesse Ruben Juarez, the latter of whom made no bones about wanting the former’s current job back when Manny Flores abruptly left his 1st ward aldermanic post mid -term to chair the ICC, leaving Mayor Daley to appoint Moreno in the summer of 2010. The following February, Moreno won 74% of the vote in the mayoral and aldermanic election on Feb. 22, 2012. Juarez did not throw his hat in the running for alderman during that election.  (Photo #1: Ald. ‘Proco’ Joe Moreno (2nd from right), Feb. 22, 2011 at V-Live Election Night Party, photo by Philin Phlash).

Back in January, Time Out’s Ted McClelland pretty much summed things up when he compared Ald. Moreno and Juarez in a piece titled “The hipster alderman vs. the machine committeeman.” Moreno recently captured some rare bad press after putting privately-owned trash receptacles on the streets which lacked the proper permits. Moreno was recently endorsed by Howard Dean.

As these two candidates duke it out for the unpaid post, a third contender, Anne Shaw, an East Village attorney who made a name for herself through her efforts to prevent the closure of the 13th District Police Station at 937 N. Wood, entered the scene. Read all about Shaw in this Our Urban Times post.

Ald. Scott Waguespack, 2009

John Fritchey by Philin Phlash

In the 32nd Ward Committeeman race, incumbent John Fritchey announced last month that he would be withdrawing from the race, citing concerns over the newly proposed ward boundaries, per this Feb. 14, 2012 piece on Our Urban Times. Fritchey’s decision left 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack, a progressive democrat, running uncontested. On the opposite ticket, incumbent 32nd Ward Republican Committeeman John Curry is running to retain his seat.

In addition to voting for committeemen, voters also will nominate candidates to represent their parties in the November elections for the following:

– President of the United States
– Representative in Congress (all districts)- Read the Tribune’s endorsements HERE.
– State Senator (all districts)
– State Representative (all districts)-
– Cook County Circuit Court Clerk
– Cook County Recorder of Deeds
– Cook County State’s Attorney
– Cook County Board of Review (Tax Appeals) (all districts)
– Judges for the Illinois Supreme Court, Illinois Appellate Court and Cook County Circuit Court
– Commissioners (three) to the Water Reclamation District for Greater Chicago

Patricia Horten speaks with a resident

Nick Przybyciel attended a BCO-Sponsored ‘Meet the Candidates’ Forum last month, so check out his post, “Voters, Meet Your Bottom Ballot Candidates” to learn more about Ricardo Lugo, (6th judicial subcircuit judge candidate), Kimberly D Lewis, (7th judicial subcircuit judge candidate), Mable Taylor, (7th judicial subcircuit judge), Steve Demitro (Cook County circuit judge candidate), Michael Forte (Cook County circuit judge candidate), Terrence M. Jordan, (Cook County circuit judge candidate), John J. Curry, (32nd Ward Republican committeeman candidate)

Got a comment or information to add to this story? Please let me know.

Update 3/16: Per Mark V. Ferrante, “You can read about all of the judicial candidates at the Chicago Bar Association’s website: The Chicago Bar Association conducts a thorough investigation of each candidate who submits to be judicially evaluated.”



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  1. Mark V. Ferrante, 3 years ago Reply

    You can read about all of the judicial candidates at the Chicago Bar Association’s website: The Chicago Bar Association conducts a thorough investigation of each candidate who submits to be judicially evaluated. This process asked for the candidates ENTIRE work history (my first job was as a Daily New delivery boy at age nine), not just legal work history.

    • chicago-pipeline, 3 years ago Reply

      Thanks, Mark, for the link, much appreciated. We have a small team behind the pipeline, and it was just not possible to cover the primary in-depth. That’s cool you delivered newspapers.:-)

  2. Austin Milbarge, 3 years ago Reply

    Fritchey isn’t redistricted out tof the 32nd ward, just look at the new map.
    His condo remains.

    What is the deeper story here?
    Don’t gloss over this- cuz its a REAL dooziy!

    • chicago-pipeline, 3 years ago Reply

      I was just going off of what I read in Fritchey’s resignation letter. Doesn’t doozy imply boring?:-) you can feel free to put together that real story. Political news is my least favorite to cover.

  3. Greg Ahern, 3 years ago Reply

    I am the only candidate in the 6th Subcircuit endorsed by the Chicago Tribune:

    • Mark, 3 years ago Reply

      Here is the FULL text of what the conservative, Republicanesk Chicago Tribune had to say when making its endorsement in the 6th Judicial Subcircuit race:

      Sixth subcircuit

      Delgado vacancy: Six candidates are running here, and two — Gregory Ahern and Mark Ferrante —were found “highly qualified” by the Chicago Bar Association. Either would be a fine judge. We’ll give the nod to Ahern for his extensive trial experience as an assistant state’s attorney. He is a first chair in the felony trial division and has handled several high-profile cases.

      On average the Chicago Tribune has 3 or more op-ed pieces in their editorial section which reads like Shakespeare: “1st thing we must do is kill all of the (TRIAL) lawyers”….they always side with the healthcare and manufacturers’ lobby organization in an attempt to assist them with their goal to block people of average means’ access to a fair trial before their peers and set for in the United State Constitution.

      Kudos to my opponent for getting “the nod” from the Tribune, however, I am not surprised that the Tribune failed to consider the hard investigative work the other 11 bar associations’ judicial evaluation committees conducted when 5 of these associations rated me WELL QUALIFIED or HIGHLY QUALIFIED. I am also not surprised that the Tribune failed to consider that I was working on complex jury trial matters for over 12 years before my opponent had even graduated law school and that I assisted a client who was injured as a result of the Southwest Airlines crash case at Midway Airport…..high profile cases should not be a criteria for selecting judges….years of legal and life experience matter and the hard work of the 11 other bar association who spent 4 to 7 months evaluating me and my opponent should not have been ignored.

    • Mark, 3 years ago Reply

      If you would like to see well-researched, well-presented information about me and my fellow opponents in the 6th Judicial Subcircuit race, click here:

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