Northwest Side GOP leader undeterred by city election results
Northwest Side GOP Club member Matt Podgorski proudly insists that his group's policy positions will remain unchanged by the results of this month's municipal election in Chicago.
“Our policies are based on our value system, information we gather and the facts of the situation,” Podgorski told Chicago City Wire. "The results of an election are not going to change our policy positions.”
Podgorski’s declaration was at least partly in response to Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Jesse Sharkey’s boasts that the election was an undeniable win for progressives across the city, based on which candidates emerged victorious or, at the very least, forced run-offs scheduled for April 2.
Among the candidates endorsed by CTU that fall into that category were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for mayor, Melissa Conyears-Ervin for city treasurer and Sophia King, Leslie Hairston, Rod Sawyer, Sue Garza, Marty Quinn, Jason Ervin and Tom Tunney for alderman.
“This is a very liberal city, so it’s not surprising to see things like the top two candidates for mayor (Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot) being liberal politicians,” he said. “We as a club supported Dr. Willie Wilson because he is a fiscal conservative and was the only candidate talking about cutting taxes and restructuring government like we need to be doing. He did well, and in terms of votes for dollars spent was really right at the top.”
As for Sharkey’s continued crusade against such programs as charter schools and the board’s support for only candidates who share that view, Podgorski, founder of the Northwest Side Club, admitted he’s at a loss to understand the reasoning.
“I know Preckwinkle doesn’t support charter schools and seems to think public schools are the only mechanism to educate our children,” he said. “I happen to think it’s ludicrous to put yourself in a box like that. I think we need to be using all our tools and resources to do everything we can to educate our children.”