By Bob Seidenberg
Evanston’s special election to fill City Council seats in the city’s 2nd and 9th Wards will take place next April with contested races in both wards.
Barring petition challenges, Darlene Cannon, Krissie Harris, and Patricia Gregory, will face off in the 2nd Ward to fill the remaining two years of Peter Braithwaite’s term, which runs until April 2025.
In the southwest 9th Ward, Juan Geracaris will face off with Kathy Hayes to fill the remainder of Cicely Fleming’s term, which also runs until 2025.
The election will take place as part of the Consolidated General Election April 4, said City Clerk Stephanie Mendoza, the city’s chief election official. She said four or more candidates would have had to file to run as part of Cook County’s Primary Election, which is to be held Feb. 28 next year.
Mayor Daniel Biss earlier appointed Harris and Geracaris to fill the vacated ward seats until the special election.
But both appointees face strong competition to hold their seats.
In the 2nd Ward:
Darlene Cannon ran a strong race against Braithwaite, the incumbent, in the 2021 municipal election, losing by 71 votes. A member of the city’s Equity and Empowerment Commission, her activist work has included raising awareness regarding overspending at the Robert Crown Community Center, stopping privatization of Harley Clarke, organizing food drives during the pandemic, and fighting for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
Patricia Gregory, a physical education teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, is a member of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board. At a candidates forum in September, she called public safety and crime a major concern of hers.
Krissie Harris is a 5th generation Evanston resident. Her track record of community service includes serving as a trustee of 2nd Baptist Church, volunteering at a weekly food giveaway program, and serving as an active member of of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She has served on a number of boards, including the YWCA/North Shore, Dajae Coleman, and Family Focus Auxiliary. In September, Mayor Daniel Biss named her to fill the 2nd Ward seat left open by Braithwaite’s resignation until next year’s special election.
In the 9th,
Kathy Hayes is a lifelong resident with a strong background of government service at the County level, including a stint at John H. Stronger Hospital where she was an administrative analyst, responsible for the oversight and administration of the Medication Assistance Program. She began public service with the Township of Evanston as a General Assistance program case manager.
Juan Geracaris is a first-generation immigrant from Argentina, who is founding member and current president of Evanston Latinos, a local non-profit organization formed to help Latino families during the pandemic. He is a former Oakton PTA Vice President, a member of Next Steps Evanston planning committee, and sits on the city’s Skate Park Advisory Board. He is believed to be the first Latino to serve on the Evanston City Council.