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1983 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chicago mayoral election, 1983

← 1979 April 12, 1983 1987 →
Turnout82.07%[1] Increase 21.7 pp
 
Washington h (1).jpg
3x4.svg
Nominee Harold Washington Bernard Epton
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 668,176 619,926
Percentage 51.72% 47.99%

Mayor before election

Jane Byrne
Democratic

Elected Mayor

Harold Washington
Democratic

The Chicago mayoral election of 1983 was first the primary on February 22, 1983 which was followed by the general on April 12, 1983. The election saw the election of Chicago, Illinois' first African-American mayor, Harold Washington. Incumbent Mayor Jane Byrne, who had served since April 1979 had lost renomination in the Democratic primary in a three-way race between herself, then–Congressman Washington, and then–State's Attorney Richard M. Daley (who would later become mayor himself) in February 1983. Washington would face off against Republican nominee Benard Epton, winning with a 3.7% lead over Epton in the general election.

Nominations

Democratic primary

Campaigning

Washington holds a press conference at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on December 13, 1982.
Washington holds a press conference at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on December 13, 1982.

Since winning an upset victory in the 1979 Democratic primary and a landslide victory in that year's general election, Jane Byrne had had a tumultuous term as mayor.[2] Nevertheless, she had secured support for her renomination from 33 of the city's aldermen.[2] A three-way race emerged between Byrne, congressman Harold Washington, and Cook County State's Attorney Richard M. Daley (the son of former mayor Richard J. Daley).[2]

Of the candidates, Byrne's campaign had the most funds, raising more than $3 million.[2] She had been spending much of her funds very early on television commercials to overhaul her image, attempting to transform her image to that of a steady and serious figure who had straightened out what had been a chaotic city government.[2] While Byrne had previously, in 1979, presented herself as a protegee of former mayor Richard J. Daley, she now blamed him for many of the city's financial shortcomings.[2] Daley's own son Richard M. Daley capitalized off a desire which many Chicagoans held (despite Byrne's criticisms) to return to what they perceived to have been comparatively stable years which the city had experienced under Richard J. Daley's leadership.[2] However, the younger Daley struggled with a perception that he was a lightweight compared to his father.[2] There was also a perception at the time that the younger Daley held an inferior intellect to those of his opponents.[2] When Daley officially launched his campaign in September 1982, polls showed him ahead of or tied with Byrne.[3] A voting bloc which was sought after were the independent-leaning Democrats often called "lakefront liberals".[2] They had backed Byrne in her 1979 primary, but were hesitant to back her again.[2]

Much of the city's white electorate was split between Byrne and Daley.[4][5] The fact that neither Byrne nor Daley were able to consolidate the white electorate around their candidacy provided Washington an opportunity to win a plurality of the overall vote.[4] While Washington was anticipated to do well among African-American voters, he would not have been able to capture the nomination on African-American support alone.[2] The Democratic Party leadership itself sought to block Washington's victory. Chairman Edward Vrdolyak was alleged to have encouraged voters to back Byrne, warning that a vote for Daley was a vote for a Washington.[6] In the closing days of the campaign, Byrne was on the defense, particularly from attacks being lodged by Daley.[6] Daley, meanwhile, was struggling to convince voters that he was no longer in third place.[6] Washington entered the television ad campaign later than the other candidates, citing only having barely $1 million to spend on his campaign.[7] Byrne spent a total of $10 million on her campaign,[7] $5 million more than her 1979 campaign.

Endorsements

Jane Byrne
Individuals
Richard M. Daley
Individuals
  • Walter Mondale,[8] former U.S. Vice-President, presidential candidate (announced candidacy on day of mayoral primary)[9]

Results

The election was held on Tuesday, February 22, 1983.[2] Turnout was 77.49%.[1] Washington received 36.3% of the citywide vote[7] and roughly 80% of the African-American vote.[7][10] 1.2 million Chicagoans went to polls to cast their ballot, noted then as the largest turnout since 25 years earlier in 1958.[7] Mayor Byrne had 33.5% of the citywide vote and Daley came in third place with 29.8%. The election saw a record-setting 69% of registered African-American voter turnout.[7]

e • d 
Chicago Democratic Party Mayoral Primary, 1983
Candidate Votes % +/-
Harold Washington 424,324 36.28% N/A
Jane Byrne (incumbent) 393,500 33.64% -12.63%
Richard M. Daley 346,835 29.65% N/A
Frank R. Ranallo 2,367 0.20% N/A
William Markowski 1,412 0.12% N/A
Sheila Jones 1,285 N/A +0.12%
Majority 30,824 2.64% +0.57%
Total 1,169,723 100.00% N/A

Republican primary

Former State Representative Bernard Epton won the Republican nomination.[2] Epton had reluctantly run after being urged by party leaders.[11] He was the only established figure who agreed to seek the nomination and had all but formally secured the nomination at party meetings in November.[12] Chicago had not elected a Republican mayor in 56 years (since the 1927 Chicago mayoral election).[2] At the time, Chicago had no Republican aldermen on its City Council.[2] While Chicago was regarded as overwhelmingly Democratic, it was hoped by many Republicans that if Washington were nominated by the Democrats, many white voters would vote for the Republican nominee.[2] Epton stated, "Chicago has been regarded for too long as a Democratic stronghold. It's about time we change that image."[2] Candidates Ralph G. Medly,[13] William Arthur Murray,[14] and Raymond Wardingly[15] saw their names removed from the ballot due to issues with their petitions. Wardingly had been a candidate in the previous election's primary.

Independent candidates

Ed Warren ran as an independent candidate.

General election

Campaigning

James Fletcher, who ran James R. Thompson's first successful gubernatorial campaign, became Epton's general election campaign. High-profile figures such as Republican Senator Paul Laxalt (chairman of the RNC) campaigned for Epton.[16] The race was particularly competitive, with some newspapers characterizing it as a "tossup".[17] Epton was polling double what a Republican typically polled in Chicago mayoral races.[18]

Results

The election saw a massive voter turnout, with more than 82 percent of eligible voters casting ballots.[1]

Mayor of Chicago 1983[19] (General Election)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harold Washington 667,552 51.7
Republican Bernard Epton 620,003 48.0
Independent Ed Warren 3,752 0.3
Turnout 1,291,307

Results by ward

Washington's coalition of voters consisted of the city's African American population with the additional support of "lakeshore liberals" and the city's Latino community. Therefore, he performed best in heavily black wards, as well as lakeshore wards and heavily latino wards.[20]

Epton carried a plurality of the vote in 28 of the city's 50 wards, while Washington carried a plurality of the vote in 22 wards.[19][20]

Ward[19] Harold Washington
(Democratic Party)
Bernard Epton
(Republican Party)
Ed Warren
(Socialist Workers Party)
Total
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes
1 13,026 62.4% 7,777 37.3% 65 0.3% 20,868
2 22,738 97.4% 558 2.4% 42 0.2% 23,338
3 24,470 99.1% 178 0.7% 48 0.2% 24,696
4 24,420 92.3% 1,981 7.5% 70 0.3% 26,471
5 24,729 90.8% 2,455 9.0% 45 0.2% 27,229
6 34,727 99.2% 240 0.7% 43 0.1% 35,010
7 17,293 81.9% 3,771 17.9% 45 0.2% 21,109
8 31,095 98.5% 457 1.4% 28 0.1% 31,580
09 23,979 93.9% 1,518 5.9% 29 0.1% 25,526
10 10,103 33.9% 19,609 65.8% 94 0.3% 29,806
11 7,186 25.8% 20,515 73.8% 98 0.4% 27,799
12 3,836 15.4% 21,042 84.2% 99 0.4% 24,977
13 1,457 4.0% 34,856 95.7% 100 0.3% 36,413
14 3,864 16.1% 20,095 83.5% 94 0.4% 24,053
15 15,949 60.3% 10,451 39.5% 62 0.2% 26,462
16 25,646 98.9% 221 0.9% 56 0.2% 25,923
17 29,233 99.1% 205 0.7% 53 0.2% 29,491
18 14,889 43.7% 19,081 56.0% 79 0.2% 34,049
19 7,045 20.0% 28,072 79.7% 105 0.3% 35,222
20 25,701 99.0% 220 0.8% 40 0.2% 25,961
21 32,967 99.1% 275 0.8% 32 0.1% 33,274
22 4,674 51.9% 4,279 47.5% 46 0.5% 8,999
23 1,373 4.1% 32,399 95.6% 101 0.3% 33,873
24 24,259 99.2% 129 0.5% 63 0.3% 24,451
25 5,925 49.1% 6,099 50.5% 51 0.4% 12,075
26 7,449 45.5% 8,823 53.9% 96 0.6% 16,368
27 20,706 92.7% 1,577 7.1% 58 0.3% 22,341
28 22,335 98.6% 224 1.0% 103 0.5% 22,662
29 19,882 92.7% 1,530 7.1% 43 0.2% 21,455
30 3,033 12.6% 20,947 87.1% 72 0.3% 24,052
31 9,856 60.4% 6,396 39.2% 77 0.5% 16,329
32 8,266 43.8% 10,515 55.7% 98 0.5% 18,879
33 6,909 37.7% 11,296 61.7% 101 0.6% 18,306
34 29,354 98.8% 336 1.1% 32 0.1% 29,722
35 3,412 15.4% 18,647 84.2% 85 0.4% 22,144
36 1,647 4.9% 31,944 94.8% 95 0.3% 33,686
37 17,549 76.8% 5,251 23.0% 57 0.2% 22,857
38 1,881 5.7% 30,939 94.0% 100 0.3% 32,920
39 3,127 12.3% 22,159 87.3% 92 0.4% 25,378
40 3,772 17.1% 18,202 82.5% 91 0.4% 22,065
41 2,380 6.8% 32,725 93.0% 75 0.2% 35,180
42 12,496 45.5% 14,891 54.2% 67 0.2% 27,454
43 11,006 35.8% 19,618 63.9% 93 0.3% 30,717
44 10,613 39.2% 16,372 60.4% 105 0.4% 27,090
45 2,376 6.9% 31,737 92.8% 91 0.3% 34,204
46 10,251 46.8% 11,542 52.7% 108 0.5% 21,901
47 4,515 18.0% 20,397 81.5% 125 0.5% 25,037
48 9,433 43.3% 12,269 56.3% 88 0.4% 21,790
49 9,719 42.9% 12,815 56.6% 109 0.5% 22,643
50 5,001 18.2% 22,368 81.4% 103 0.4% 27,472
Totals 667,552 51.7% 620,003 48.0% 3,752 0.3% 1,291,307

References

  1. ^ a b c "Election Live Blog: Low voter turnout continues into evening". Chicago Sun-Times. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Chicago's mayoral primary by Ed McManus
  3. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=110&dat=19820911&id=J5daAAAAIBAJ&sjid=aUsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5716,5057126
  4. ^ a b Chicago's Long-Running Daley Show Ken Rudin February 21, 2007
  5. ^ https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/153060
  6. ^ a b c https://www.lib.niu.edu/1983/ii830415.html
  7. ^ a b c d e f Washington Post - UPSET IN CHICAGO - Feb. 24, 1983
  8. ^ a b https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&dat=19830205&id=9KQrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w_wFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5385,989129
  9. ^ http://mobile.nytimes.com/1983/02/22/us/mondale-begins-his-84-campaign.html
  10. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=19830413&id=hiNHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ofMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1340,2665277
  11. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/05/us/republican-grasp-on-chicago-9-jobs.html/
  12. ^ https://www.people.com/archive/in-his-lonely-race-for-mayor-of-chicago-bernard-epton-finds-the-g-o-p-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks-vol-19-no-7
  13. ^ https://app.chicagoelections.com/documents/Electoral-Board/document_680.PDF
  14. ^ https://app.chicagoelections.com/documents/Electoral-Board/document_681.PDF
  15. ^ https://app.chicagoelections.com/documents/Electoral-Board/document_679.PDF
  16. ^ CHICAGO MAYORAL RACE GAINS G.O.P.'S INTEREST By ANDREW H. MALCOLM  New York Times February 25, 1983
  17. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19830411&id=k8xRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m20DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4625,2048783
  18. ^ Mouat, Lucia. "Chicago readies for controversial mayoral election". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  19. ^ a b c "Election Results for 1983 General Election, Mayor, Chicago, IL".
  20. ^ a b Green, Paul M. (August 1, 1983). "Chicago election: the numbers and the implications". Illinois Issues. Sangamon State University. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
This page was last edited on 5 July 2019, at 21:13
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