In the Northwest Side 1st Ward, progressive first-term incumbent Ald. Daniel La Spata took off with a wide lead against his opponents – but by Tuesday night it appeared he had missed out on an outright victory, which would require lifting more than half the votes,
La Spata faced a stiff challenge from a slate of well-financed and well-known rivals, including attorney Sam Royko, son of the late Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko, according to unofficial returns.
Former Ald. Proko “Joe” Moreno attempted a political comeback after a series of scandals, but was trailing far behind La Spata, Royko and community organizer Stephen “Andy” Schneider. Moreno’s campaign declined to comment Tuesday.
The seat represents portions of Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, West Town, and Logan Square.
At his campaign party late Tuesday, La Spata and his supporters celebrated Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s concession when it aired, in which aldermen laughed and let out a big “yhoo” at the news. He told the Tribune he didn’t want to say more, citing the need to work with the mayor. last month in officeBut did they celebrate when they learned that Brandon Johnson would be running for mayor.
La Spata cited those incidents as saying, “My opponents took a lot of ugliness, the worst in politics, into their campaigns.” A beer was thrown at him and a window at his campaign office was smashed during a campaign cycling event, He said he wanted to believe his opponent was capable of decency in the run-off election. “I need to prove it to them,” he said.
La Spata addressed his supporters when he was about 100 votes short of the 50%-plus-one minimum needed to avoid a runoff, where he remained on Wednesday morning.
“Whether we find those 106 more votes in the next 24 hours, or the next six weeks, we are going to find those votes together, and then I will continue to serve in the 1st Ward and be your alderman,” La Spata said. Said.