Good news: Socialists now outnumber Republicans on Chicago's city council

Ain’t no problems in a city whose government has been monopolized for decades by the left that can’t be solved with more austere leftism.

Weigel’s numbers are wrong, I believe. Unless I missed something, there’s only one Republican on the city council. (Even that guy’s technically an independent.) And he inadvertently lowballed the number of new DSA-approved aldermen. A socialist-backed pol led by a few dozen votes in the 33rd Ward late last night, after Weigel sent his tweet.

The Chicago DSA is celebrating a likely caucus of no fewer than six aldermen in the next council.

In the 20th Ward, Jeanette Taylor won with 59.64% of the vote and will be taking the seat formerly held by indicted Willie Cochran. Similarly in the 25th ward, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who won with 54.31% of the vote, will be succeeding Danny Solis, formerly the powerful chair of the Zoning committee. In the 40th ward, Andre Vasquez defeated the nine-term incumbent Pat O’Connor with 53.93% of the vote.

A fourth CDSA endorsed candidate, Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, is in a tight race with Deb Mell in the 33rd Ward. After bringing Mell to the first runoff in the ward since the 1930s, Rodríguez-Sanchez was up by 64 votes with all precincts reporting. The winner of that race will be determined after absentee ballots are accounted for and a recount is completed.

The new aldermen will join Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, a democratic socialist incumbent in the 35th Ward, and newcomer 1st Ward alderman Daniel La Spata, another CDSA member. Both Ramirez-Rosa and La Spata won their races outright during the first round of voting on February 26. That means that, in a 50 seat city council, at least 10% will be members of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America.

Apart from Rodriguez-Sanchez’s razor-thin win, none of the results was especially close. The most notable was Vasquez’s victory over O’Connor, which seems vaguely familiar: A young newbie Latino politician backed enthusiastically by the DSA challenges an older white mainstay of the Democratic leadership and shocks the world by knocking him off.

Ald. Patrick O’Connor trailed challenger Andre Vasquez by more than 1,000 votes in the 40th Ward with 100 percent of precincts reporting. O’Connor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s floor leader, fell behind early in Tuesday’s runoff race…

The challenge to O’Connor in the 40th Ward offered further evidence of a change election Tuesday in Chicago. O’Connor’s 36-year tenure as alderman is surpassed only by Ald. Ed Burke.

The differences between O’Connor and Vasquez couldn’t be clearer. O’Connor succeeded Burke as head of the Finance Committee. He has been a member of the council for nearly four decades and once had a role as a member of the Vrdolyak 29 — a group of mostly white aldermen led by former Ald. Edward Vrdolyak who opposed the policies of then-Mayor Harold Washington…

Vasquez is a socialist and former battle rapper born shortly before O’Connor joined the council.

It’s AOC/Joe Crowley redux. If anything, O’Connor was more influential in his own caucus than Crowley was in his. A key difference, perhaps, was that O’Connor was saddled with Rahm Emanuel’s baggage by dint of their association. Rahm, remember, was sufficiently unpopular that he declined to run for another term as mayor rather than endure a primary he was likely to lose. O’Connor may have paid the price among the anti-Emanuel contingent.

Good news all in all for the GOP, though. The party has no investment in Chicago but can certainly exploit last night’s results as part of next year’s campaign message about a rising socialist tide on the left. In the meantime, maybe the new socialist aldermen will help run a major corporation out of town, killing thousands of new jobs and tanking their own approval ratings locally and beyond. Between this and the result from Wisconsin, where a conservative longshot appears to have pulled out a Supreme Court election and reminded America in the process that the state still leans red, it was an encouraging night for Republicans and 2020.

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