Ald. Judy Fiske holds off challenge from Ed Tivador to retain 1st Ward seat

Incumbent Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) celebrated her victory over challenger Ed Tivador with supporters Tuesday at Daves Italian Kitchen.

Manuel Rapada/Daily Senior Staffer

Incumbent Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) celebrated her victory over challenger Ed Tivador with supporters Tuesday at Dave’s Italian Kitchen.

Manuel Rapada and Tanner Maxwell

Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) won re-election Tuesday, holding back a Northwestern-student-supported challenge by Ed Tivador.

Fiske took 56 percent of the vote to Tivador’s 44 percent, besting the Northbrook/Glenview School District 30 superintendent by more than 100 votes. One in four registered voters in the ward showed up at the polls.

Standing on a chair while holding a supporter’s hand, Fiske called the last few months “a long and tough campaign” that culminated in a referendum on her service to the ward. She said her return to City Council represents a decision to keep the 1st Ward independent.

“I’m really happy that our 1st Ward is remaining ours and not somebody else’s,” Fiske told about 40 supporters at Dave’s Italian Kitchen, 1635 Chicago Ave.

Tivador conceded to Fiske at about 9:30 p.m., thanking dozens of backers gathered at World of Beer, 1601 Sherman Ave. Before making the announcement, he toasted with a pint of beer with campaign manager Kent Swanson.

“Well, I’m clearly disappointed,” Tivador later told The Daily. “I feel like I really learned a lot and am blessed in my life with the most amazing people.”

Fiske told supporters Tivador was “very nice” on his concession call. “I thanked him, and that’s the end of that,” Fiske added.

The owner of Davis Street pet store Fit + Frisky, Fiske dodged the most serious challenge of Evanston’s three contested races for alderman. After winning, she told The Daily the heated campaign season was taxing.

“I’m not sure I have eaten today,” Fiske said. “We worked really hard today, trying to figure out what the results were going to be.”

Questions of time commitments dominated the beginning and end of the campaign. Tivador criticized Fiske for not participating with him in a League of Women Voters forum and an interview with local journalists on “The Reporters.” Fiske said weeks later that scheduling conflicts prevented her from participating.

Days before the election, Fiske revealed she had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Tivador’s superintendent contract from Northbrook/Glenview School District 30. Tivador maintained that his running for City Council was not anything out of the ordinary.

Tivador launched his bid for the council chambers chair next to Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) in front of World of Beer. He held his watch party Tuesday night inside the bar, joined by Ald. Coleen Burrus (9th) — who endorsed Tivador — and Ald. Ann Rainey (8th). Steven Monacelli, who quit Associated Student Government last week to work for Tivador, also  made an appearance.

“Ed lost with a fair spread,” said Monacelli, a Communication senior. “I hope Ald. Fiske will do as well as she can to actively reach out to students.”

Tivador told The Daily he hopes Fiske works on issues regarding NU student representation and economic development.

“I hope she begins to focus on sustainable economic growth in the 1st Ward,” Tivador said. “It hasn’t been happening. The city deserves and needs this.”

Fiske said she appreciated the student involvement in today’s elections and hopes that engagement translates into student-ward engagement.

“I want them to really come out and join us and be part of the community,” Fiske said. “And I want to be a part of their community as well.”