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Field narrows in Chicago alderman race featuring DJ Julian “Jumpin” Perez

Field narrows in Chicago alderman race featuring DJ Julian “Jumpin” Perez
Julian Jumpin Perez photo

The incumbent made a shock withdrawal and several other candidates have been disqualified in a Chicago city council race that features a well-known DJ from the early days of Chicago house music.

Roberto Maldonado, the 26th ward alderman up for re-election in February abruptly withdrew from the race on January 6. Maldonado had been a member of the city council for 13 years in a seat that includes most of the Humboldt Park area.

“Now is the time to leave public life after 28 years, pleased of our accomplishments and legacy,” Maldonado wrote on his website. Maldonado repeatedly declined media inquiries about his withdrawal, which came a month and a half before citywide elections on February 28, 2023. Early voting begins on January 19.

Maldonado’s abrupt withdrawal shakes up a race which as of January 1 still featured six candidates. Among them is Julian “Jumpin” Perez, one of the most prominent Chicago house music DJs through the 1980s and 1990s as a member of the Hot Mix 5 and later one of the top radio DJs in the city on B96.

His website bio states that Perez recently retired from radio to “focus his efforts on serving our community.”

Perez was among the first challengers to Maldonado, filing a D-1 “Statement of Organization” with the Illinois Board of Elections in April 2022. Three years earlier Perez made headlines for making a joke about immigrants fleeing ICE enforcement from the stage of Festival Cubano. In Perez’s own recollection, “people laughed and then they stopped, and then I got boo’d. Which I should have.” He later apologized.

Maldonado’s withdraw was followed by two of the remaining five candidates being disqualified after the Chicago Board of Elections upheld challenges to the candidates’ nominating petitions. The latest hearing schedule shows that Kirk Ortiz and Anthony Rivera were disqualified from the ballot on Monday, January 16. In less than two weeks, a six candidate melee has been reduced to a three person race.

In addition to Perez, the final ballot candidates are Jessie Fuentes and Angee Gonzalez Rodriguez. Gonzalez Rodriguez made headlines when she defeated Maldonado in the 2020 election for 26th Ward Democratic committeeman — a shocking upset considering Maldonado’s tenure — before announcing her candidacy for his aldermanic seat. (The Fuentes campaign was also challenged on their petitions but prevailed in a Board of Elections hearing on January 13.)

In a story on the race posted earlier today, Block Club Chicago reports that Perez is the leading fundraiser among the three remaining candidates, though not by a wide margin.

Chicago will be electing the 50 member city council, mayor, city clerk, treasurer and members of new Police District Councils in the February 28, 2023 election. The elections are nonpartisan: if no candidate receives 50%+1 of the vote, a run-off between the top two candidates will be held on April 4, 2023.

Photo via voteforjulian.com.

TechnoSoundz is a news aggregation service provided by Lemuria Live, LLC. Here is Original Source of this article.

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