Mayor fills three vacant city council seats

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Three vacancies on Chicago's city council were filled Tuesday by Mayor Richard Daley. One of the new aldermen is a woman with family ties to the council seat she is inheriting.

"He didn't hand off his daughter to anyone. She is well qualified," said Mayor Daley.

The mayor is replacing former 7th Ward Alderman Bill Beavers, who is now a Cook County commissioner, with his daughter and longtime aldermanic chief-of-staff Darcel Beavers, completing a family-to-family triple play that began when Todd Stroger replaced his ailing father John on the ballot for Cook County Board president, continued when Bobbie Steele handed her county commissioner's seat to her son Robert and culminates with Tuesday's announcement.

"There is no nepotism here. I worked my way up as chief of staff for the last 12 years," said Darcel Beavers, new 8th Ward alderman.

The appointment sets up a marquee match up in the 7th ward if Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior's wife Sandi jumps into the race as she has been talking about doing.

"I think it is going to be a good race. I have never worried about a loss. I am a winner, and so is she," said Bill Beavers, Cook County commissioner.

Daley is also replacing alderman Tom Murphy, who is now a judge, with his former chief of staff in the 18th Ward, Lona Lane, and Michelle Harris, a Cook County employee, is filling the 8th Ward aldermanic seat that Todd Stroger vacated to become county board president.

"I am looking forward to using my background to find new ways to better deliver city services to the residents of the 8th Ward," said Michelle Harris, new 8th Ward alderman.

"I have a history of working with the residents and city agencies and working with other community organizations. I look forward to continuing this work," said Lona Lane, new 18th Ward alderman.

"They understand each one of their communities are unique and different. At the same time they are willing to roll up their sleeves, be able to walk precincts, talk to people, community organizations and block clubs," said Mayor Daley.

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