2023 Chicago Runoff Endorsements
We're headed to an April 4th runoff for mayor and many alder elections where no candidate reached 50%. A few elections are not yet clear if they will go to runoff or not and will be determined by mail-in ballots that continue to be counted. Those will be included below.
Progressives have a chance to really transform city government in this cycle! Get out and vote and organize!
See the About page for criteria and previous endorsements for more details.
I'm just an individual person doing research. I hope this is a helpful resource to people, especially those wanting to participate by voting but without the time to heavily research or engage. If you're someone deeply involved in your local elections and organizing, I doubt you need what I have to say- you know your community and election better than I do. If you think I've gotten something wrong (or right!), keeping the values on the About page in mind, I want to hear from you about it and take your input into consideration. Please comment or use the chat tool!
Mayor - Brandon Johnson 🎉
vs. Paul Vallas
This is an extremely clear choice for progressives, with a transformative candidate from the grassroots movement with clear, detailed, and exciting policy ideas, charisma, and competence against a repeatedly failing regressive Paul Vallas who associates with the far-right and represents the wealthy and conservative. It will be a close battle and we all need to get involved!
1st - Daniel La Spata
vs. Sam Royko (runoff may not be needed)
This is another clear choice for progressives. La Spata is backed by the whole progressive movement and has been a leader on the council for citywide progressive policy proposals. It seems like he has some constituent relations issues he can work on, but Royko is running as an anti-progressive focused on being more tough-on-crime.
4th - Prentice Butler
vs. Lamont Robinson
This runoff features two good options. Neither are ideal leftist movement candidates, but both are decently progressive and well-qualified. I was able to spend more time researching this race than most, and I'd support Butler due to his experience, understanding of the ward, and calmly reasoned practical approach. As chief-of-staff to Alder Sophia King, he is deeply involved with the issues and services of the ward and could continue their good work there well from day one. That role is very good preparation for serving as alder. Robinson is a good candidate and backed by most progressive organizations, but I don't like the political appointment musical chairs triggered by electing sitting officeholders to other positions in the middle of their terms, and I think Butler will better serve this ward.
5th - Desmon Yancy
vs. Tina Hone
I have concerns about both of these candidates, but Yancy seems like the better option. He does have a good progressive platform and is backed by the progressive organizing groups. I'm not a fan of his founding the GAPA police reform movement which I think was ultimately counterproductive and there are concerns raised by other candidates about his residency in the ward which are worth looking at. Hone, a Lightfoot administration alum, seems more concerning and less reliably progressive. She'd be less connected to and accountable to the progressive movement throughout the city, and I was particularly unimpressed by the public engagement process she mismanaged around the casino project.
6th - William Hall
vs. Richard Wooten
There's a clear choice in the 6th as William Hall has the best platform, is backed by the progressive movement and will be a great voice on the council and for his community. This will likely be a close runoff.
10th - Ana Guajardo
vs. Peter Chico
Guajardo was not my choice in the first round, but in a runoff against Chico, she is the clear choice for progressives, with a solid platform and good experience, while Chico is the candidate of the police union and their best chance to take a new seat. It's looking like an uphill battle but if Sanchez voters can rally around Guajardo this may be close.
11th - Nicole Lee
vs. Tony Ciaravino
There was a very close first round between these two but it seems likely voters will rally around Lee to keep an Asian alder for this first majority-Asian ward and prevent the hard-line pro-police candidate from winning. I'd encourage progressives that backing Lee is absolutely the right choice here as Ciaravino would be a far worse anti-progressive option. It will be interesting to see which direction conservative Chinatown voters that backed Don Don break in this runoff.
21st - Ronnie Mosley
vs. Cornell Dantzler
I'm concerned about some of Mosley's connections, especially to outgoing Alder Howard Brookins, and about his seeming misrepresentation of his education background on a technicality, but he seems likely to be the more progressive and competent option in this runoff. I'm not excited about him, but there's a clear choice here. He should be better than Brookins, at least.
24th - Monique Scott
vs. Creative Scott
Neither candidate is a progressive here. I'm not a fan of the sister-appointed-by-Lightfoot-to-replace-brother dynamic here, and I've seen concerns about the ward office's responsiveness under Monique Scott, but I'm not at all convinced Creative Scott would be more competent in the job.
30th - Ruth Cruz
vs. Jessica Gutierrez
This is a very tough one. There are concerning donors, endorsing groups, and political allies for both of these candidates. There's not a clear progressive choice based on their platforms, which are nearly identical, or their political associations. I'm really disappointed we don't have Warren Williams in this runoff. When it comes down to it, I'd trust Ruth Cruz more than Jessica Gutierrez to be deeply rooted in the community, accountable to her neighbors rather than big donors and developers, and not focused on political ambitions of moving upward. Luis Gutierrez has seemed to me to be far more interested in self than his people and has projected a progressive image that outpaces the reality of his record, and I fear his daughter would be more of the same. I may be wrong, but that's my sense on this one and I wish there was a better option here.
36th - Lori Torres Whitt
vs. Gil Villegas
Torres Whitt is the clear choice for progressives here- a candidate connected to CTU with a good platform, against Villegas who has been running in this race and his congressional battle with now-Rep. Delia Ramirez as an anti-progressive and was initially a close ally of Lightfoot early in her term.
43rd - Timmy Knudsen
vs. Brian Comer
This was a tough ward the first time around, with no option that stood out as progressive. In the runoff, Lightfoot-appointed Alder Timmy Knudsen seems like the better choice to me. While not a progressive, I think his fundamental instincts are more progressive than Comer's. Comer is well-connected and deeply-rooted in the ward and seems to have well-intentioned concern for his community, but Knudsen, from what I can tell, has the better mastery of policy details and is likely to both be a more effective alder and less simply reactionary on public safety policy. I have some concerns about the anti-progressive nature of some of his backers, but there were definitely worse options in this ward.
45th - Megan Mathias
vs. Jim Gardiner (runoff may not be needed)
Jim Gardiner is possibly the worst alder and a favorite of the police union. While Mathias may not be the most progressive option one could hope for, she would be far better than Gardiner. This will be a tough fight as Gardiner nearly had 50% in round one and the anti-Gardiner vote was widely distributed, but there is a real chance of unseating him here.
46th - Angela Clay 🎉
vs. Kim Walz
Angela Clay is one of the most exciting progressive candidates of this cycle. She dramatically improved her result over her 2019 campaign and has a great chance of winning here. Walz is backed by more establishment forces while progressive orgs are united around Clay.
48th - Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth
vs. Joe Dunne
This was a very messy ten-person first round that Manaa-Hoppenworth somewhat surprisingly emerged from as the progressive alternative to Joe Dunne, who is backed by outgoing Alder Harry Osterman and more moderate organizations. It remains to be seen if progressives can unite here, but Manaa-Hoppenworth definitely has the better platform here and would be a solid progressive for the council in this largely progressive ward.