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Evanston’s new mayor reacts to his victory

You can now call him Mayor-elect. Former State Sen. Daniel Biss scored an overwhelming victory in the Evanston mayoral primary over two opponents on Tuesday.

Daniel Biss, speaking after his election victory.

You can now call him Mayor-elect. Former State Sen. Daniel Biss scored an overwhelming victory in the Evanston mayoral primary over two opponents on Tuesday.

Because Biss won more than 50% of the vote, a general election runoff is not necessary.

Biss, who defeated community activist Lori Keenan and college student Sebastian Nalls in the mayoral run, told his backers via Zoom that the victory was “not a statement of support for a person but for an agenda.”

He said, “The next four years present an opportunity for bold, progressive, transformational policies” in the community.

He told Evanston Now that his first priority is trying to help Evanston recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and make sure as many people as possible get vaccinated as quickly as can be done.

Beyond that, Biss said his key issues are re-envisioning public safety, adding more affordable housing, tackling climate change and sustainability, and restructuring how government uses an equity lens in decision making.

Nalls issued a statement congratulating Biss, and saying, “I hope that my efforts have inspired many across Evanston to see what we do have a pathway forward to a future which is equitable and just.”

Meantime, two veteran incumbent aldermen, Don Wilson in the 4th Ward, and Ann Rainey in the 8th, were each running third, where the top two in each ward advance to the general election in April.

Because mail-in ballots postmarked on Election Day can still be counted if they arrive within the next two weeks, those results could still potentially change.

Jonathan Niewsma and Diane Goldring are leading in the 4th ward in the unofficial results. In the 8th ward, City Clerk Devon Reid and Matthew Mitchell are ahead, again, pending the mail-in count.

Nieuwsma told Evanston Now, “I’m feeling positive and encouraged” about the results, but “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.”

Still, based on the Election Day results, Nieuwsma said, “The winds of change that are blowing around the country are being felt here in Evanston.”

Six other contested aldermanic races will be on the April 6 general election ballot. Primaries were not needed in those wards because the number of candidates did not exceed the required threshold. 9th Ward incumbent Cicely Fleming is running unopposed.

The new City Council and Mayor Daniel Biss will be sworn in May 10.

Jeff Hirsh

Jeff Hirsh

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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