Steans, 44, of Edgewater, oversees housing and economic development programs for her family foundation. Her experience includes managing budgets for government agencies in Illinois and Milwaukee and a stint as a strategic planner for the Chicago schools.
Her platform included increasing funding for education and reforming the tax system, two issues that she said were integrally related. She argued that an increase in the state income tax and an expansion of the sales tax base would help to correct the disparities in public school funding that result from reliance on property taxes. She also campaigned on school accountability and programs to attract and support new teachers.
Elder, 47, an Uptown resident, formerly worked as a health
policy analyst at the Institute of Policy Research at the
University of Chicago.
In a highly charged race for the
Cook County Board of Review, incumbent Joseph Berrios held his seat on the three-person panel that hears property tax assessment appeals, defeating challenger Jay Paul Deratany.
With 86 percent of the votes tallied, Berrios' was ahead with 60 percent of the vote.
Throughout the campaign, Deratany, an attorney, charged that Berrios rewarded well-connected campaign
contributors with tax decreases, shifting the tax burden
to small businesses and residential homeowners. Berrios' position
as chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, Deratany charged,
influenced his decisions toward prominent party members.
In turn, Berrios, 55, cited Deratany's support from Cook County assessor James Houlihan as a conflict of interest for his opponent. An accountant who has served on the board since 1988, Berrios said he supports a Cook County tax freeze, and he pointed to the 175,000 appeals heard before the board in 2007 as evidence that the board is accessible to taxpayers.The Democratic race for three seats on the county's water reclamation district board was still close late Tuesday with incumbents Frank Avila, Cynthia Santos and Kathleen Therese Meany in the top three spots. Diane Jones, an administrative assistant to reclamation district commissioner Patricia Horton was in fourth place, but by less than one percentage point.
Today's winners will face three
Green Party candidates, John "Jack" Ailey, Rita Bogolub and Nadine
Bopp, in November.
Carrie Topolinski, Andrew Peck and Lori Hendricks contributed to this report.