Concession in 5th Ward means City Council won’t break record for women members

Community organizer Desmon Yancy clinched his election as the next alderperson of the 5th Ward on Wednesday, with opponent Tina Hone conceding eight days after the polls closed on their South Side runoff.

The decision brings the makeup of Chicago’s next City Council into shaper focus, as the incoming legislative body will see 18 women sworn in next month — an increase of three since 2019 that matches the city’s all-time high for representation by women set in 2007.

Trailing by 427 votes with 643 outstanding mail ballots, Hone acknowledged "the end of the journey" Wednesday, saying in a statement that she will "support Desmon in every way possible."

Yancy, who is also a religious charity director, will replace retiring Ald. Leslie Hairston as head of the Hyde Park ward that will soon see the Obama Presidential Center open.

"I’m just glad the campaign is over and I’m excited to get to work leading the ward in a new direction," Yancy told the Sun-Times, a day after he attended a City Hall orientation for incoming City Council freshman.


"It was a little overwhelming," Yancy said of his first trip downtown as an elected official. "It really brought home the magnitude of the work ahead of us. We’ve got an exciting group [of new City Council members] coming in."

That group remains unofficial, because two other City Council runoffs still haven’t reached a consensus result a week after the election. But it would take a major mail ballot upset for either of the leaders in those two contests to fall behind.

On the West Side, incumbent Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th) declared victory Wednesday over activist CB Johnson, leading by 315 votes with up to 535 outstanding ballots that could arrive to be counted by April 18. City election officials don’t expect that many to arrive.

Johnson — who forced the runoff when Taliaferro fell just 25 votes of a majority that would’ve won February’s general election outright — says he won’t concede until every ballot is counted.

Similarly, Roosevelt University administrator Ruth Cruz declared victory in the Northwest Side’s 30th Ward on election night, but Jessica Gutiérrez, daughter of former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, has not given up.

Cruz led Wednesday by 290 votes, with up to 546 outstanding mail ballots.