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2nd Ward candidates to appear at forum April 9

Submitted on Mon, 03/26/2007 – 04:49.
The two candidates vying to be the 2nd Ward’s next alderman have agreed to appear together at a candidates’ forum April 9th in the South Loop.

Representatives for Ald. Madeline L. Haithcock and challenger Bob Fioretti signed onto the event, which could be one of the only times the two candidates meet face to face before the April 17 runoff.

The candidates will begin speaking at the free event, sponsored by the Greater South Loop Association, Printers Row Presidents and Columbia College’s Journalism Department, at 6:30 p.m. April 9 at Soka Gakkai, 1455 S. Wabash Ave.

Audience members will have a chance to ask questions of the candidates that evening; those who can’t attend the forum may e-mail questions in advance

The setting of a date for the event comes just days after some South Loop residents began receiving a controversial campaign mailing that accuses Fioretti, a lawyer, of being a stalker.

This is the second time the issue has been raised by Ald. Haithcock’s campaign. Just days before the Feb. 27 election, Haithcock’s camp made public a protective order a woman had sought against Fioretti about four years ago, though the order was quickly rescinded. Fioretti has said that a woman who had been harassing him and his girlfriend sought the order.

Still, news of the protective order prompted the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) to withdraw its endorsement of Fioretti the weekend before the February election.

Last week, however, NOW reinstated its support of Fioretti and held a press conference to lambaste the alderman for launching a “vicious attack” that is a “desperate political ploy meant to distract voters,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Fioretti told the Sun-Times that the woman who sought the protective order broke into his home and one day called him 60 times.

He’s filed suit to stop Haithcock from distributing the campaign mailer. A hearing on that matter is set for April 3, reports the Chicago Tribune’s Mickey Ciokajlo.

Some political observers have said Haithcock is going for the jugular in this hotly contested race, one of 12 aldermanic runoffs, because she’s trailing Fioretti.

In the Feb. 27 election, Fioretti won 27.7 percent of the vote, while the alderman garnered 20.9 percent. There’s a runoff because neither candidate, nor four others on the 2nd Ward ballot, garnered at least 50 percent of the 11,103 votes cast.

Two other candidates who unsuccessfully ran in that election have announced they’re endorsing the alderman. In a recent press release, David R. Askew, who got 15.8 percent of the vote, and Larry Doody, who won 11.6 percent of the vote, asked their supporters to back the alderman.

They said Haithcock’s experience and integrity – she’s been alderman since 1993 – make her the candidates voters should trust.

In the press release, sent out by Askew, Haithcock says she has “adopted and taken several steps to establish neighborhood advisory councils throughout the ward to enhance input on development questions from residents and businesses most affected by a proposed development.”

The advisory councils, the alderman noted, were part of Askew’s campaign platform.

The endorsement of two former competitors may be outweighed, though, by the support Fioretti is getting from unions.

Writing in the March 25 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, reporter Scott Fornek says one union official predicts Haithcock and at least four other incumbents will lose April 17.

In the Loop Local Politics Public
2nd ward bob fioretti madeline haitchcock south loop

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