Lightfoot Pledges To Dismantle 'Aldermanic Prerogative,' Preckwinkle Won't Go That Far

Mike Krauser
March 12, 2019 - 3:01 pm

Lori Lightfoot, left; Toni Preckwinkle (Associated Press)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Mayoral candidates Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot disagreed Tuesday about aldermanic prerogative -- the power of aldermen to make decisions in their wards – during their latest debate.

Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, blasted the Chicago precedent as one that fosters corruption because anyone who wants city services or a development deal feels obligated to “kiss the ring” of the local alderman.

“If I’m lucky enough to be the next mayor, I’m going to drive a stake through the heart of that,” she said during a forum before the Chicago Tribune editorial board.

Preckwinkle, a former Chicago City Council member, said that’s a “derogatory characterization.”

“It’s true that we’ve had some challenges with people who have misused their power. That’s always going to be the case in any human enterprise,” she said. 

Preckwinkle did say outside employment for city elected officials should be banned.

Both candidates, who are competing in the April 2 runoff election, discussed jobs, investing in business, neighborhoods, affordable housing and crime. It was a mostly civil debate.