Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's A Tie

From the Board of Elections website, as of 2/24/2011.  May not be the official totals, as Sandra Reed's write-in votes are not included in this count.

Ward 46
Votes Cast: 13,866
  • JAMES CAPPLEMAN - 2721 votes - 19.62%
  • MARY ANNE "MOLLY" PHELAN - 2721 votes - 19.62%
  • EMILY STEWART - 2027 votes - 14.62%
  • DON NOWOTNY - 1599 votes - 11.53%
  • MARC KAPLAN - 1333 votes - 9.61%
  • MICHAEL CARROLL - 1248 votes - 9.00%
  • SCOTT BASKIN  - 824 votes - 5.94%
  • BEFEKADU T. RETTA - 602 votes - 4.34%
  • DIANE SHAPIRO - 460 votes - 3.32%
  • ANDY W. LAM - 187 votes - 1.35%
  • CAITLIN MCINTYRE - 144 votes - 1.04%
Update:  CBS 2 has an article about the close race -- both Molly and James were interviewed by Mike Parker outside their after-parties on Tuesday evening:  Social Worker, Attorney Up For Rematch in 46th Ward


  1. This is the only pop reference I can think of regarding a "tie".

    "Welcome back to the age of jive, where have you been hanging out lately" voter..........

  2. Wow, to think my vote actually mattered for a change! If I hadn't voted then then one of the candidates would have won by 1 vote.. but I'm not telling who. ;))

  3. Incredible!
    As some have said, I'd be happy with either James or Molly.

    But I appreciated JC's 'history' up here, so I voted for him.

  4. this is awesome! should make the news and i hope UU and IP get shout outs. Molly already announced that she came in first?

  5. Speaking of voting - this just popped in my head -

    Why were the candidates HOME addresses printed on the ballots? Seemed kinda strange to me

  6. CTA, I wondered the same thing.
    I assume it testifies to the fact that the candidates live in the Ward.

  7. I would bet that Emily Stewart (and her 2000 votes) is very, very popular right about now.

  8. On the topic of home addresses...I just found out that Molly rents her apt on Bittersweet vs James owning his condo on Kenmore. Interesting. Of course anyone can vote, but I'm wondering how many of the current 50 Alderman are owners vs renters and/or if this topic is important to voters. Also wondering of people who vote in a local election like the 46th, the mix of owners vs renters.

    At many of our community meetings, attendee's traditionally have been owners--probably because they have more 'skin in the game'... Wondering if this issue of home ownership is important to voters in our upcoming runoff?

  9. I think its important for a candidate to have "roots" or an investment in the community. Shows that they are not just in it for other reasons... I acknowledge that not every good candidate may be able to afford the home, but in that case, I'd like to see a sustained presence and history in the community.

  10. Taylor,

    the new aldermen in the 47th is a renter and 4 year resident of the ward. Clearly the better candidate in that ward than the longtime owner with machine support.

    Owners tend to vote in higher percentages than renters, but I really don't think it will be much of an issue in our runoff.

    Some people who don't intend to vote for Phelan will point to her being a renter as one of their reasons. If it wasn't that reason they'd find another.

    I intend to vote for Cappleman and the fact that he's an owner is largely irrelevant to me. Although, it does give him a financial stake in the hood that he would lack as a renter. You just can't pack up and leave as easily as an owner.

    Is that a distinction? Yes. Is it important. Prolly not.

    Educate yourselves on our two candidates and make your choice on who you think is better.

  11. (yes, I know - he does own a home; point being, like IP mentioned, I don't think anyone cares)

  12. There's an anti-machine sentiment in some of the lakefront wards and that was clearly the reason for Pawar winning. It's also true in the 46 and Phelan and Cappleman probably know that.

    Both Phelan and Pawar are renters but there's a much greater difference between the two. Pawar got almost all of his money from ward residents, showing voters that he's not connected to the machine. Phelan got almost all of her money from well connected attorneys who do business with her dad's law firm, where she works.

    However, the real story is who the other candidates will support and that's why it was very stupid for any candidate to make enemies before Feb 22. Only one candidate stands out for not playing well by the rules over and over again. If a candidate doesn't want to come across as a priviledged rich kid connected to the machine, it's best not to act like one and ignore rules.

  13. Here is the real significance of the tie.

    1. It's absurdly amusing. It wouldn't be Uptown without something Felliniesque.

    2. Cappleman pulled 25% of the absentee/provisional? votes compared to Phelan's 15%. That sayz something about the relative dedication of Cappleman voters.

    3. Both sides better work their tails off because the outcome of this race is NOT a foregone conclusion.

    Here's my current view of why the vote was so tight and how I see the April runoff playing out.

    Molly had better ballot position and a better ballot name than Cappleman in round one. Her name was second on the ballot and Cappleman was stuck in the middle. There were also 4 females names versus 7 male names.

    Now the McIntyre vote total probably took more votes from Phelan than Cappleman because of the Celtic theme to her name.

    Amazingly Cappleman may have lost a few votes to Kaplan because of the similar "sound" of their names. Silly, silly, silly.

    Molly also raised more money than James in the last weeks and seemingly had more outside help.

    I also have a suspicions that Nowatny/Stewart and maybe Carroll voters would be slightly more likely to support James over Molly.

    All of this resulted in a statistical and real tie.

    More to come in a "Round Two" post.

  14. Round Two.

    The endorsements of the candidates who didn't make the runoff and whether they are willing to work for one candidate over the other could make a difference.

    I expect maybe 9000 people to vote in round two. That bodes well for Cappleman because I think his supporters are more likely to turn out.

    I expect Phelan to outraise Cappleman in terms of cash. Most of it will be from outside the ward, but money spends no matter where it comes from. Advantage Phelan.

    Will "da new mare" get involved? I'm sure he will. I just don't know how.

    Will other local elected officials get involved?

    If it's a really tight race who will JPUSA vote for? I don't see them sitting it out and they do tend to support one candidate in elections. That's a few hundred votes right there.

    The JPUSA voters will have a two pronged decision on their hands. Who do they dislike less and which candidate is more likely to win?

    If to use a religious phrase I was "walking in their shoes" I would want the eventual winner to feel they owed me. Having a supportive alderman helps when you are running various agencies and buildings in the ward.

    So which candidate will prevail in April?

    Ask me in about a week or two after I see how some of these things start to shake out.

    I basically did nothing in round one except make comments here and Vote.

    In round two I'm getting off my ample posterior and pestering my neighbors to register and vote.

  15. If you were not registered for the election can you now register and vote in the runoff? I had assumed that neighbors of mine who did not register in time were out of luck for the runoff as well.

  16. Risking redundancy, I will (if the moderator allows) re-post my observations from both Phelan’s & Cappleman’s election night Victory Parties, as they may have gotten lost at the end of the previous article's 100+ comments - apologies to those who have already read this - please skip it.

    The Kit Kat Club on Halsted & Waveland seemed an odd choice for Phelan’s party as it is on the southern edge of the ward and relatively far from her campaign office and home. There was irony in Cappleman’s victory event being held at Nick’s at 4015 N. Sheridan. Nick’s was where Molly made kick-off announcement last fall. Her speech that night was nervous and lacked charismatic, but her communication skills improved drastically and quickly during the campaign.

    At the Kit Kat Club, no one was stationed to greet or sign-up supporters at the door for future volunteer efforts (are non-paid, grassroots volunteers part of Phelan’s run-off strategy?). I noticed few, if any, Phelan buttons on patrons at Kit Kat and surprisingly sparse “Molly” signage around the club. In fact, the customers in the bar/restaurant’s main areas seemed blissfully disinterested in politics. They appeared to have come there to socialize and drink with friends, not to celebrate anyone’s political victory. 

In the back room where the core band of Phelan fans hung out, there was a different, almost Frat-party atmosphere. Molly fans watching the returns in Kit Kat’s back room were noticeably more inebriated than those at Cappleman’s Nick’s event, but Halsted Street on a cold winter night may encourage tossing back a few cocktails.

    The event at Kit Kat seemed not to be even attempting to be a representation of 46th Ward diversity. Attendees did not particularly look like Uptown, or like any gathering north of Irving Park Road. Average age at the Phelan event was definitely under 35.

Channel Two News pulled up and interviewed Molly outside the club. On Molly’s way out of the bar’s front door to be interviewed, she passed a 6’4” Kit Kat drag performer in stiletto heels. It was at this moment that I remembered one of Chicago’s most beloved gay club personas from the 1970s/80s, who called himself “Chicago Molly.” Some of us still miss the sweet kindness that Chicago Molly showed customers at the old Nutbush/City Limits club in Forest Park where he tended bar. 

    All of the contrasts struck me as stark: the current Molly Phelan is so unlike the shy and sweet Chicago Molly of yore and also was quite a visual contrast to the Kit Kat’s 6’4” drag performer. Phelan punctuated the contrast when, on her way out the door to face the television cameras, she perched her eyeglasses on top of her head (apparently a trademarked shtick that is supposed to say I am substantive, I am always ready to read a book, or a contract). The look, probably unintentionally, channeled Sarah Palin, or a generic librarian ready to pop out of a cake and unpin her hair at the Frat party in the Kit Kat’s back room.

    The crowd at Cappleman’s event was noticeably more diverse in age, gender, marital status and complexion. Entrants to Nick’s were greeted and given a name tag to encourage easier mingling and conversation. The Nick’s event seemed more of a gathering of real neighborhood friends from across the ward. Supporters were encouraged to sign-in and volunteer for run-off election efforts. The overall atmosphere at the Cappleman event at Nick’s was fun, but less bacchanalian than Phelan’s. Volunteers informed supporters arriving at the party that a Cappleman donor had offered a $1,000 fundraising matching challenge for the evening – the payoff for the supporters who helped to achieve that goal came later when campaign manager Lauren Peters uncharacteristically modeled a pink dress to great applause.

  17. I find it quite interesting that Molly did some fundraising for James in 2007 -- why'd she decide to do this on her own?

  18. Hey I think Molly and Helen made a backroom deal after FWY.

    Remember Helen said that was what all FWY was about Molly wanting to be Alderman.

    Helen would rather have Molly than James.

  19. A, do you really believe that or do you just feel like making idiotic statements today for the fun of it?

  20. QC,

    That is not necessarily an "or" question.

    "A" can really believe it and feel like making an idiotic statement.

    Me I am very happy. I just got back from a non-Uptown McDonald's and the Shamrock Shake is back!

    A tie in the race AND the Shamrock Shakes. The Almighty has been kind to my sense of the absurd this week.

  21. I like making idiot statements like all people do on blogs.

    Frankly, I am tired of it all. I voted for JC but probably won't vote in the runoff.

    Actually I don't even live in Uptown anymore.

    So see you all!

  22. J/k - I was just being a blog jerk, I was never that way until other bloggers taught me!