Hansen victorious in contest to replace longtime representative

Paul Thissen

The City Council is getting younger.

Retiring Ald. Gene Feldman (9th) will be replaced by someone less than half his age.

Anjana Hansen was elected Ninth Ward alderman by a margin of 783-700 — the smallest margin of any Evanston race Tuesday.

Hansen, 32, will be the youngest member on the council. She faced Mimi Peterson, 41, a local activist known for her efforts to promote elm tree vaccinations.

Hansen, an assistant Cook County state’s attorney, replaces Feldman, the longest continuously serving alderman on the council. Feldman, who was first elected in 1987, did not endorse either candidate.

Hansen said the key to her campaign was going door-to-door in the ward.

"Once people get a chance to meet me and hear what I had to say, I think that spoke volumes," she said at her victory party.

About 35 supporters came to the party at a private room at Campagnola, 815 Chicago Ave., where they gathered around candlelit tables munching on bruschetta and pesto pasta.

Rob Rohn, who attended the party, said he was won over by Hansen’s campaign literature.

"In her literature, she presented the issues of (affordable) housing and transportation," he said. "I was impressed by her experience in the neighborhood."

Although Hansen is new to politics, she said running for alderman is a "natural progression" from her work as an attorney. She has worked with her neighborhood-watch group.

Improving basic city services — alley paving, garbage collection and policing — will be her first priority, Hansen said.

Despite the Ninth Ward’s distance from Northwestern, both candidates had plans to alter relations with the university. Hansen said she wants to improve the council’s "adversarial" relationship with NU.

The candidates differed sharply in their opinions on the referendum on Resurrection Health Care. Hansen supported the referendum; Peterson did not.

After the results came in, Peterson said she will continue to be active in Evanston politics. For now she’s "taking a rest."

"I need a couple days," she said. "Maybe a week or a month or so."

Reach Paul Thissen at [email protected]