Biss declares victory in Evanston mayor’s race; incumbents appear to hold off primary challenges in Waukegan, North Chicago

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Robert McCoppin and Genevieve Bookwalter, Chicago Tribune
·3 min read
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Former state legislator Daniel Biss declared victory Tuesday in the election for Evanston mayor.

Meanwhile, incumbents appeared to have held off primary challenges in Waukegan and North Chicago, according to unofficial totals.

In a speech to supporters over Zoom just after 9 p.m., Biss claimed victory in the three-candidate race.

“I of course want to thank the community of Evanston for this remarkable victory,” Biss said.

He called the victory “a statement of support not just for a person but for an agenda and a vision of what we can do together.”

With 47 of 50 precincts reporting in Evanston, unofficial results showed Biss leading with 73% of the vote, followed by community activist Lori Keenan with 18%, and Purdue University student Sebastian Nalls with 9%.

The candidates vied to succeed incumbent Steve Hagerty, who did not seek reelection. Biss avoided a runoff in the nonpartisan election by getting more than 50% of the vote.

Biss had the broadest name recognition, having served in the Illinois House of Representatives for two years before being elected to the state Senate in 2012. He served six years before losing to Gov. J.B. Pritzker in a primary race for Illinois governor in 2018.

In Waukegan, with all precincts reporting, Mayor Sam Cunningham had 65% of the vote in the Democratic primary, compared with 35% for challenger and city code enforcement officer Miguel Rivera, according to unofficial totals. Cunningham was 1st Ward alderman for 18 years before being elected mayor in 2017.

The winner will face independent candidate Ann Taylor, who is the alderman of the 9th Ward, on April 6.

In North Chicago, Leon Rockingham, who has served 16 years as mayor, appeared to have fought off a challenge in the Democratic primary from real estate professional and former Foss Park District Commissioner Anthony Coleman. With all precincts reporting, Rockingham had 69% of the vote, to Coleman’s 31%, according to unofficial totals.

The winner will face independent candidate Charles January in the April 6 general election.

In Dolton, four candidates vied in the Democratic primary for mayor.

Incumbent Riley Rogers, 69, has been mayor since 2013 and was seeking a third term despite suffering a stroke in January.

He was challenged by Trustee Tiffany Henyard, Trustee Andrew Holmes and former Chicago alderman and ex-Cook County Commissioner Robert Shaw, twin brother of the late Dolton Mayor William Shaw.

With 17 of 19 precincts reporting, Henyard led a tight race with 34% of the vote, followed by Rogers with 31%, Holmes with 29% and Shaw with 6%, according to unofficial totals.

The winner in Dolton is due to face independent Ronnie Burge in the April general election.

In Lynwood, the Democratic primary for village president pitted Trustee Jada Curry against incumbent Eugene Williams. With six of seven precincts reporting, Curry led with 54% of the vote, to 46% for Williams, according to unofficial totals.

In Riverdale, Mayor Lawrence Jackson sought a third term while facing a challenge from former Mayor Deyon Dean. Jackson ousted Dean in 2013. With eight of nine precincts counted, Jackson led with 80% of the vote to Dean’s 20%, according to unofficial totals.

And in Berwyn, Mayor Robert Lovero was challenged in the Democratic primary by Brendan O’Connor, who according to his website owns Big Guys Sausage Stand and wanted to show “how the sausage is made in City Hall.”

With 23 of 32 precincts reporting, Lovero led, 52% to 48%.

All results are preliminary.

With no statewide or national races, only about 12% of registered voters cast ballots in Cook County.