This will be the last RotSC column before the municipal elections next Tuesday. I'll share some of my predictions, and encourage you to leave your own in the comments.
No matter what, you should vote. Find your polling place etc. here.
1st Ward: Manny Flores is unopposed, but he's done some organizing and fundraising — he needs a voter base of his own if he plans on replacing Luis Gutierrez when the incumbent Congressman retires in 2008.
Prediction: Manny Flores 100% of the vote, hipsters comprise 2%.
2nd Ward: Madeline Haithcock's tumultuous career won't end Tuesday, but the engine is sputtering, and that sound is not a low-flying helicopter but a couple flat tires. Nobody will get a majority of the vote, and Haithcock will be forced to go to a run-off in April.
Prediction: Haithcock 40%, Bob Fioretti 29%, Other 31%
3rd Ward: If I could be anywhere on election day, it would be in the Fifteenth Ward; my second choice would be the Third, where I now predict flamboyant alderman Dorothy Tillman will lose outright.
Prediction: Pat Dowell 50.5%, Dorothy Tillman 41%
7th Ward: Mmm, dynasties. Darcel Beavers, daughter of former alderman William Beavers, faces Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s wife Sandi. There will be a swarm of election workers, hilarity will ensue. This will go into a run-off.
Prediction: Sandi Jackson 43%, Darcel Beavers 41%, Other 16%
15th Ward: The rough-and-tumble Fifteenth will feature several organizations sqthuaring off. If you're of the type that enjoys watching shenanigans, head down to Englewood on election day.
Prediction: Toni Foulkes 42%, Denise Dixon 40%, Other 18%
18th Ward: This one is wide-open, so you should give me my propers for even making a prediction.
Prediction: Paul Stewart 37%, Lola Lane 37%, Joseph Ziegler 13%, Other 13%
19th Ward: Ginger Rugai should hold onto this seat, but not without going to a run-off first — she faces a second-time opponent and another cat who's done a decent job organizing.
Prediction: Ginger Rugai 49%, John Somerville 35%, Tim Sheehan 16%
20th Ward: I hope you didn't think the federal indictment on corruption charges would forestall an outright Troutman victory. Not in Chicago.
Prediction: Arenda Troutman 58%, Other 42%
21st Ward: Poor Howard Brookins, Jr. He promised his ward a Wal-Mart and didn't get it — that pissed off his constituents. His efforts to get the Wal-Mart pissed off labor and community groups. He didn't win any love from his fellow alderman for his sloppy efforts to win the Wal-Mart.
Prediction: Leroy Jones, Jr. 45%, Howard Brookins, Jr. 43%, Other 12%
32nd Ward: Sorry, Ted. I'm going out on a limb and predicting incumbent alderman Ted Matlak loses outright, officially taking the 32nd Ward out of the realm of the Regular Democratic Organization's stable of reliable wards.
Prediction: Scott Waguespack 52%, Ted Matlak 47%, Other 1%
34th Ward: It'll be interesting to see what transpires in this far South Side (Pullman, Roseland) ward. I anticipate Carrie Austin will hold onto the seat, but wouldn't be surprised to see a strong performance from her opponents.
Prediction: Carrie Austin 58%, Bernard Kelly 29%, Other 13%
42nd Ward: This is it. One-on-one, no other candidates complicating matters. Burt Natarus and newcomer Brendan Reilly have been going toe-to-toe the last month on the streets, and Natarus has shown some spirit — but has it been enough?
Prediction: Brendan Reilly 52%, Burt Natarus 48%
43rd Ward: This ward is simply too high-turnover and low-turnout for a challenger to win, in my opinion.
Prediction: Vi Daley 54%, Tim Egan 34%, Michelle Smith 9%, Other 3%
46th Ward: I'm almost afraid of making a prediction, lest I draw the ire of the wild-eyed political junkies of the 46th Ward. Still, I must. Helen Shiller is on her way out — but not yet.
Prediction: Helen Shiller 53%, James Cappleman 47%
49th Ward: Here it is, the mother of all fights, after the 15th. And the Third. Well, you know what I mean. People who don't like incumbent liberal firebrand Joe Moore really don't like him. And he has a long list of opponents, a couple of whom have fought well. Still, this is a municipal election. And he is an incumbent. And this is East Rogers Park.
Prediction: Joe Moore 52%, Jim Ginderske 30%, Don Gordon 15%, Chris Adams 3%
50th Ward: Actually, in retrospect, given the huge diversity of people, incomes and ideologies in this ward, and given the aggressive tactics of incumbent alderman Bernie Stone's political operation, this may be the place to be on Tuesday.
Prediction: Berny Stone 34%, Naisy Dolar 32%, Greg Brewer 30%, Salman Aftab 4%
City Clerk: Miguel Del Valle has an oddly sophisticated city-wide campaign organization, which suggests he sees himself replacing the Mayor in four years. He will win handily.
Prediction: Miguel Del Valle 82%, Jose Cerda 18%
Mayor: The big one! The Mayor's race! Ooh, this will be hot! Somebody may crack double digits against Mayor Daley!
Prediction: Richard M. Daley 74%, Dorothy Brown 18%, Dock Walls 8%
Your predictions, quantitative or otherwise?