Joe Dunne and Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Advance to Run Off in Race for 48th Ward Alderperson

The runoff election will be contested by the two top vote getters who emerged from the crowded 10 candidate field — affordable housing developer Joe Dunne and small business owner and activist Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth.

The race for the next alderperson of the 48th Ward, the ward which includes the portion of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus south of West Devon Avenue and the Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods, will go to a runoff April 4 as no candidate was able to earn over 50% of total votes cast. 

The runoff election will be contested by the two top vote getters who emerged from the crowded 10 candidate field — affordable housing developer Joe Dunne and small business owner and activist Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth. 

Dunne, who finished first after receiving 3,835 votes totalling 27.5% of those cast, focused his campaign on public safety concerns, promoting economic development and increasing the availability of economic development. Dunne celebrated his success in the first round of voting with supporters and staff at The Edge Theatre (5451 N. Broadway) where he said the mood was very positive. 

“I’m tired, but I feel good — it’s a good tired,” Dunne said to The Phoenix. “It’s been a lot of hard work to get here, but it’s important work, and I’m happy with where we are at. This is where we wanted to be when we got into the race. I am looking forward to the run-off on the fourth and serving as the next alderman.”

Dunne received the endorsement of outgoing Alderman Harry Ostermann, who announced his retirement in June, after representing the ward for 12 years, as well as the endorsements from former Governor Pat Quinn and the Chicago Federation of Labor. 

Joe Dunne celebrates the results with supporters and staff. Aidan Cahill | The Phoenix

Manaa-Hoppenworth, who came second in the race with 3,014 votes totaling 21.5%, prioritized making housing more affordable, promoting sustainability and making the ward more walkable in her campaign. Manaa-Hoppenworth celebrated her success in advancing to the runoff with supporters in her campaign office. 

“I’m thrilled to have made it to the runoff and am grateful to everyone who has supported me along this journey, in ways both big and small,” Manaa-Hoppenworth said. “I’m looking forward to spending the next 35 days talking to voters, hearing their concerns, collaborating with them on solutions and working with them on our shared vision for the ward.”

Manaa-Hoppenworth, who runs a dance studio in Andersonville, will attempt to differentiate herself from Dunne in the run-up to the second round of voting. If elected, Manaa-Hoppenworth would be the first Filipino member of Chicago’s City Council and would be the first openly gay person to serve as 48th Ward Alderperson. 

Coming in third place, just 500 votes behind Manaa-Hoppenworth, was Nick Ward, a community activist and restaurant worker. Ward finished with 18.5% of the votes cast, with a total of 3,014 votes. Jamie Cernek, Ward’s campaign manager, said Ward conceded the race and addressed supporters at an election night party hosted at Rewired Cafe. 

Manaa-Hoppenworth cuts the cake at her election night party celebrating a runoff berth. Aidan Cahill | The Phoenix

“Nick was so grateful for all of the work all of our over 200 volunteers have put in over the last two months knocking on over 38,000 doors in the ward and raising over $180,000 from individual donations and labor and progressive organizations,” Cernek said. “Nick is extremely proud of all of the work this people powered campaign put in and although we didn’t get the election results we wanted, our movement and organization will continue long after today.”

Isaac Freilich Jones, assistant Illinois attorney-general, finished in fourth place, earning 1,422 votes. Jones campaigned on his progressive principles and personal story of surviving a bout with cancer but failed to reach the next stage of the election as he garnered just 10.2% of votes cast. 

Jones reached out to Dunne and Manaa-Happenworth to congratulate them on their success in advancing to the runoff, a representative of his campaign told The Phoenix. 

Finishing fifth was University of Chicago Political Science Professor Larry Svabek who garnered 6.5% and 905 total votes. Roxanne Volkmann, a deputy director at the federal government and Loyola graduate, finished sixth with a 5.7% vote share totalling 796 votes.

Nick Ward, who came just shy of reaching the runoff celebrates a hard fought campaign at his election night party. Aidan Cahill | The Phoenix

Andy Peters received 518 votes good enough for 3.7% and a seventh place finish while Nassir Faulkner came in eighth with 2.5% and 354 votes. Andre Peloquin finished in ninth with 2.4% and 342 votes and Brian Haag earned 1.5% totaling 209 votes.

Featured Image by Aidan Cahill | The Phoenix

Griffin Krueger

Griffin Krueger