Victory Still Within Reach in the 16th Ward Aldermanic Race, Stephanie Coleman Says
CHICAGO – Saying there are too many outstanding issues and votes surrounding Tuesday’s historic runoff elections, officials from the Campaign to Elect Stephanie Coleman said Wednesday that they have no plans to concede victory to opponent Toni Foulkes for the vacant 16th Ward Aldermanic seat.
“We are still in this thang. We are still in this race,” a gracious, but confident Coleman told campaign workers and supporters after studying the latest poll results which showed her just 138 votes short of declaring victory.
Ray Harris, campaign manager, said he believes Coleman will become the next 16th Ward, because many votes are still out and there are many unresolved issues.
According to the Chicago Board of Elections, with 35 of 36 precincts reporting, Coleman garnered 3,515 votes, while 3,653 were recorded for Foulkes.
“You need 51 percent to claim victory and Foulkes is at 50.96 percent,” said Harris, noting that the victory will come when the final votes cast are tabulated. He said no final tabulation could be made election night because there were malfunctions at two precincts and the voting results from the provisional ballots and absentee ballots have not been counted.
Today, Harris will visit the Board of Elections to determine their process for counting the missing ballots from precincts 5 and 21 as well as the provisional and absentee ballots.
“The proclamation cannot be made until all of those things are done,” Harris said. “Fifth teen hundred voted early, so when you consider all of those points, there is no reason, to concede until all of the voices in the 16th Ward have been heard.”
Coleman urged campaign workers and supporters gathered at the campaign headquarters at 1213 W. 59thStreet in Englewood to remain faithful and hopeful.
“God is a miracle worker; I should not have been here. But God!” she told an enthusiastic crowd after they held hands and gathered for prayer. “I know what he can do, and I am just looking forward to the man of wisdom to confirm to me what God has already done. The determination has been made. And the 16th Ward will get a leader who lives in the 16th Ward. The 16th Ward will have safer streets, and the 16th Ward will have schools that provide a quality education for our children. The 16th Ward will continue on with an economic development plan that will bring forth job opportunities. Amen. And the 16th Ward will have an alderman whom this mayor, Rahm Emanuel, will respect. So, I am looking forward to what is to come. And we are just anxiously awaiting on the determination and on the victory and to become the youngest African American alderman ever in the city of Chicago. I claim this. I made this. Now the real work is beginning.”