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Some of the winners and losers from yesterday’s primaries were obvious, others not as much. Here are a few we’ve noticed:
Winner: Sandi Jackson. She routed longtime Seventh Ward boss William Beavers by winning nearly three-quarters of the votes cast in their committeeman showdown—not a year after beating his daughter, Darcel, for alderman.
Loser: Jesse Jackson Jr. Sandi’s husband lost the other two races he got involved in: his friend Kenny Johnson fell to Will Burns in the 26th state rep contest while Larry Suffredin finished third in the Democratic campaign for state’s attorney. Maybe Sandi’s the legitimate mayoral threat from the Jackson family.
Winners: Incumbent water reclamation district commissioners. All three held on, turning back aggressive, big-spending challengers.
Losers: District taxpayers, who foot the bills for commissioner Cynthia Santos's art history and fiction writing classes.
Winners: Moms running as law-and-order candidates. Anita Alvarez’s brilliant TV commercial showing her getting her kids ready for school—with one calling out, “Come on, Mom!”—was one reason she won the state’s attorney primary.
Losers: Dads running as law-and-order candidates. None of Alvarez’s five opponents could figure out how to avoid looking or sounding like men prone to bickering about football and gun prosecutions.
Winners: Latino voters. For years, the political mantra has been “They're a growing community, they're going to be huge, but right now they don’t vote.” Clearly lots do, and they helped hand victories to Alvarez, Board of Review commissioner Joe Berrios, state senator Iris Martinez, water rec commissioner Frank Avila, and Cynthia Santos, who isn’t actually a Latina. And, of course, to a bunch of non-Latino candidates.
Losers: Latino pols who backed the white guys in these races. In the words of one Latino committeeman who endorsed somebody other than Alvarez: “She beat the fuck out of me on that one.”
Winners: Tom Allen, Howard Brookins Jr., and Ed Smith. By losing their countywide races, these three aldermen have been freed to become the voices of independence and change they campaigned as. Or they can settle into their jobs and sign off on mayoral initiatives in return for alley repaving and stop signs.
Losers: Any aldermen contemplating higher office. The title carries about as much positive feeling as "foot infection."
Winners: Anyone who ignores preelection polls and predictions in favor of the responsible thing: closing your eyes, putting your finger on the ballot, and voting for whatever name it lands on.
Losers: Political reporters who actually think they know enough about hundreds of thousands of voters to make preelection predictions.... Well, at least I got Obama right.