CALUMET CITY | Candidates aligned with Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush were largely successful in Tuesday’s municipal primary election, although the new City Council that takes over in May will have at least one person aligned with mayoral hopeful Brian Wilson.
In the elections for aldermen of Calumet City’s seven wards, the six incumbents who support Qualkinbush all appeared to prevail, according to preliminary voter tallies compiled by the Cook County clerk’s office.
But in the city’s west side 4th Ward, RaMonde Williams won the Democratic primary with 58 percent of the vote, beating Darius Hogans, who took 32 percent, and Imani Akin, who got 9 percent of ballots cast.
The 4th Ward post is the one that Wilson is giving up to try to make an independent mayoral bid in the April 9 general election. Williams is the aldermanic candidate on Wilson’s slate, while Hogans was Qualkinbush’s choice to fill the seat. Akin was an independent whose legal battles wound up being aligned with the unsuccessful mayoral bid of Victor Green.
Williams is a deputy with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, working in the court services division. He says he has been told by attorneys there is no conflict between him serving as an alderman and remaining with the county sheriff.
Wilson, who gathered Tuesday night with his supporters at Will’s Sports Bar in Burnham, said he was pleased that his old aldermanic seat will be filled by a candidate aligned with him.
Qualkinbush said she expects she will be able to work with Williams.
“I know RaMonde. I don’t know what his intentions are with Brian (Wilson)," Qualkinbush said, "but I will work with whoever gets in place May 1” when new officials take over.
Williams said his priority as an alderman will be to support creation of programs that provide jobs and recreational opportunities for young people.
“We need some kind of programs to benefit our children,” he said.
Wilson said Tuesday night that his slate-mates — Wilbur “Will” Tillman in the 3rd Ward and DeJuan Gardner in the 5th Ward — were running close and should not be counted out, although the county clerk’s office provided voter tallies that were not so close.
Third Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones led Tillman 53 percent to 47 percent, while 5th Ward Alderman Roger Munda led Gardner 67 percent to 33 percent, according to those figures.
The remainder of the municipal offices will be represented by candidates who were aligned with Qualkinbush. Succeeding were the mayor’s picks for clerk (Nyota Figgs, who took 69 percent of the vote) and treasurer (Gerald Tarka with 53 percent).
The big winner was 7th Ward Alderman Antoine Collins, who took 85 percent of the vote against Wilson ally Reginald Whitley’s 15 percent. First Ward Alderman Eric Schneider ran unopposed.
In the 2nd Ward, incumbent Magdalena “Leni” Wosczynski led Patricia Twymon 57 percent to 43 percent, while in the 6th Ward, Alderman Nick Manousopoulos took 62 percent of the vote, with Wilson ally Tyhani Hill taking 34 percent and Green supporter Hope Allen taking 4 percent.