Former candidate Gutierrez vows to keep fighting for 30th Ward after Reboyras gains reelection
Jessica Gutierrez thinks her narrow loss to Ald. Ariel E. Reboyras in the 30th Ward should serve as a warning to the winning candidate about area residents' growing frustrations.
“The alderman shouldn’t see this as a win because the majority of the ward has expressed they want change and new leadership,” Gutierrez told Chicago City Wire after Reboyras outlasted her on April 2 with just over 51 percent of the vote. “We have to build community power and that is something he has never done. He is a ‘yes’ man.”
Reboyras and Gutierrez’s heated battle played out after she forced him into a runoff back in early February by holding him below the slightly over 50 percent threshold needed to secure a primary election win.
Reboyras, a longtime associate of outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has been in control of the Northwest Side ward since 2003. He also chairs the Committee on Public Safety, which oversees the Chicago Police Department.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez, the daughter of former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, vowed to fight on.
“I hope for the best for residents and I will make sure that [Reboyras] thinks about me every morning,” she said. “I will be a thorn in his side until he is held accountable.”
Gutierrez said she plans to start an independent political organization to advance the interests of residents and ultimately sees herself perhaps challenging him for his ward committeeman post.
“If he refuses to meet our demands, we will be outside his office every time he does something against the people,” she said. “He said he would never raise property taxes but has voted in favor of every increase. He doesn’t take the community’s voice in hand. He is a typical machine hack.”
The 30th Ward includes parts of Belmont Cragin, Old Irving Park and Portage Park.