CALUMET CITY | Mayoral hopeful Brian Wilson does not plan to run in the 2013 municipal elections with a slate of candidates, but said Saturday he will offer his support to one candidate who wants to take his post on the City Council.
Wilson currently is alderman of the city’s 4th Ward, which will be vacant when he runs for mayor against incumbent Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush. He said he supports the desires of Ramonde Williams to succeed him.
Williams is a Cook County sheriff’s deputy and part-time police officer in Burnham who in 2009 came within 15 votes of defeating 2nd Ward Alderman Magdalena “Leni” Wosczynski. But redistricting earlier this year took his home out of her ward and put it in the neighboring 4th Ward.
Wilson said during the opening of his campaign office Saturday at 705 Wentworth Ave. he believes residents of his ward will be well-represented in city government if Williams wins because of his work with local police departments in putting together youth programs.
“He is concerned about the community and he expressed an interest in running,” Wilson said of Williams. “I fully support him.”
For his part, Williams said he plans to work harder this election cycle than he did in 2009, and said he thinks he is more knowledgeable now than he was then about the ways of local politics.
As of now, Williams would be running unopposed for Wilson’s aldermanic seat, although Williams said he wouldn’t be surprised if another candidate came forth between now and the February primary election.
Qualkinbush said earlier this week she hasn’t given any thought yet to picking a replacement for Wilson to run on her political slate, adding that she wishes she didn’t have to.
“I wish (Wilson) were running on a slate with me (for re-election) as 4th Ward alderman, so that we could work together for Calumet City,” she said on Thursday after a City Council meeting.
Wilson said his fundraising efforts are just starting, but he expects to have about $200,000 by November or early December, which he said would give his campaign adequate funds. His campaigning began with the opening of his campaign office, during which 74 people showed up for a barbecue and a chance to meet the candidate.
Among those who stopped by during the mid-day event were city Treasurer Gerald Tarka and city Finance Director John Kasperek.
Wilson said he is running for mayor because he thinks he better reflects changes in Calumet City’s population that have occurred in recent years.
“There are an emerging number of people in the community who have come here from Chicago who feel their concerns are not being addressed,” he said.