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Socialist Newcomer Unseats 40th Ward’s Longtime Alderman O’Connor

A political newcomer who once was a battle rapper has unseated longtime Alderman Patrick O’Connor in the city’s 40th Ward. With 100% of the precincts reporting in, Andre Vasquez campaigned to a clear victory over the current alderman by more than 1000 votes.

Vasquez will now work for the 40th Ward which includes western parts of Andersonville and Edgewater. He was brought to power by residents who were unhappy with what they believed were “machine politics” that O’Connor used. Those voters often complained that the alderman would choose policies set forth by Mayor Rahm Emanuel over his own Ward.

O’Connor was one of the most powerful men in the City Council succeeding Ald. Ed Burke as head of the Finance Committee. His tenure spanned more than four decades and saw the regentrification of 40th Ward over the years.

Vasquez, who is a 39-year-old married father of two young children, is a son of immigrant parents. Bernie Sander’s progressive socialist campaign in 2016 inspired him to take his current path. According to the campaign, he has vowed to fight for better schools, city services, and the right allocation of resources in the city government.


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