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The Mechanics
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Election 2015 Wed Feb 25 2015

16th Ward Goes to a Runoff

By Manny Ramos

16thward.jpgCurrent 15th Ward Ald. Toni Foulkes was able to secure about 44 percent of the votes in the 16th Ward municipal election, while Stephanie Coleman seized about 36 percent of the vote, sending the 16th Ward into a runoff.

"You always want to win the first time," Ald. Foulkes said, "However, I got my troops behind me, and we're excited." Foulkes thinks she has a good chance in winning the municipal runoffs. "If you look at my last race we had 46 percent of the votes in the general, but we walked away winning with 69 percent."

Ald. Foulkes chose not to run in the 15th Ward because the new ward map moves 40 percent of her constituents into the 16th Ward. She was expected to possibly fall behind to Ald. JoAnn Thompson, but Thompson passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 10.

Stephanie Coleman, daughter of former 16th Ward Ald. Shirley Coleman, is in a position to make a push. Coleman, 27, is one of at least seven Millennial candidates running for City Council. She is attempting to follow the footsteps of her mother, but looks to appeal to the youth and young adults.

Sadly, this runoff is not due to new ideas of a younger generation facing an experienced veteran. No, it is due to the poor voter turnout that was the 2015 municipal general elections. There are roughly 1.4 million registered voters in the city of Chicago. The voter turnout on Tuesday night floated at about 33 percent, significantly lower than the 2011 elections.

Some believe the frigid temperature had an effect on voters coming out; others say it is because of higher early voting numbers.

Ald. Foulkes disagrees with that latter. "People really need to come out and vote," she said. "It is very important, people always tell me they are going to vote, but never do."

 
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