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Temperature keeps rising in the hot 2nd Ward race

Submitted on Tue, 04/03/2007 – 02:03.
With just two weeks left until E-day, tensions between the two 2nd Ward candidates continue to escalate.

The incumbent, Ald. Madeline Haithcock, won’t stop her campaign mailings to voters that call challenger Bob Fioretti a stalker. Now, in the April 2nd edition of the Sun-Times, the alderman calls Fioretti a liar, saying there’s no way he could have knocked on 10,000 doors in the ward.

Fioretti, an attorney who won the most votes in the Feb. 27 election but not enough to win the race outright, fires back in Scott Fornek’s story, saying anyone who doubts such a feat is guilty of “laziness.”

The same day, the Tribune’s Mickey Ciokajlo reports that the National Organization for Women has rescinded its endorsement of Fioretti. This is the second time in six weeks that NOW has withdrawn its support.

Things weren’t quite so heated March 26, when the two candidates shared the floor at a forum sponsored by the Homeowners of Westtown.

Columbia Chronicle’s James H. Ewert Jr. reports that Haithcock was joined at the event by former challenger David Askew, who recently endorsed the alderman.

Askew, the third-top vote getter with 16 percent, said he decided against supporting Fioretti, who won the most votes at 28 percent, because he misrepresented Askew’s record in campaign literature mailed out just before the Feb. 27 election. (Haithcock captured 21 percent.) Fioretti says he merely pointed out differences between on the issues between him and Askew.

Haithcock’s accessibility – or lack of, according to some residents – was an issue, as it’s been at other campaign events. The Chicago Journal’s Haydn Bush writes that Fioretti told the crowd he knows what’s going on in the ward because he’s out and about, while he rarely sees the alderman at community events.

Haithcock’s responded: “I didn’t knock on your door, but I’ve been there for you . . . I’m not the perfect person, but whether you like me or not, I love you.”

It will be interesting to see if love is evident in either candidate on April 9, when the two candidates are set to make what is expected to be their last joint appearance before the April 17 runoff.

Both candidates have agreed to participate in a 6:30 p.m. forum April 9 at Soka Gakkai, 1455 W. Wabash Ave. (Candidates have been invited to informally talk with audience members from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.) Free parking is available on site; the Roosevelt train stop is just two blocks away.

The free event, sponsored by the Greater South Loop Association, Columbia College’s Journalism Department and Printers Row Presidents, will feature questions from the audience. Those wanting to ask their questions in advance, may e-mail:

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