Darcel Beavers sworn in to city council
December 13, 2006 (WLS) -- Darcel Beavers was sworn in as the new alderman from the 7th Ward Wednesday morning. She is already facing a very contentious campaign to hold on to the job.
The wife of Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior is expected to file her nominating petitions for 7th Ward alderman on Monday, setting up a high-visibility showdown between Mayor Daley's African-American allies, including Darcel Beavers and allies of Congressman Jackson and his wife Sandi.
The election is not until February, but the fireworks are already under way, as Darcel Beavers replaces her father in the Chicago City Council.
Leaving it to Beavers Wednesday, the aldermanic seat in Chicago's 7th Ward went from Bill, the longtime alderman and new county commissioner, to Darcel, his daughter and aldermanic chief of staff for a dozen years.
"We welcome you to the city council. Welcome to the sisterhood," said Ald. Dorothy Tillman, 3rd Ward.
"I would like to thank my family, my father, alderman, now Commissioner Beavers, and yeah, I am taking his place, and I will be here for a long time. Thank you," said Ald. Darcel Beavers, 7th Ward.
The wife of Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior is ready to challenge that prediction by jumping into the February aldermanic race in the 7th Ward against Darcel and at least one other candidate. But the former alderman is already questioning the way Sandi Jackson is rounding up signatures on her nominating petitions.
"What they did is hired homeless people to circulate petitions and they are paying a dollar a signature," said Commissioner Bill Beavers, former alderman.
Sandi Jackson firing back in a statement that says "this insulting comment is yet another put-down of the hard-working men and women of the 7th Ward ... the real story is our phones are singing off the hook with calls from people who want to support our campaign and are outraged that their leaders are being selected and not elected."
"I want her on the ballot because we want to beat her," said Bill Beavers.
Congressman Jackson was planning to run for mayor against Rich Daley, but he decided to stay in Washington after the Democrats won control of the House in November. Jackson did, however, recruit a handful of independent aldermanic candidates to challenge Daley-backed incumbents in several wards. They will be filing their nominating petitions on Monday, but they may be on their own now that Jackson is not running. And besides, he will be busy enough with his wife's campaign and his day job in Washington.
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