Jeff Smith endorses Mark Tendam for mayor


File photo by Katie Pach

Ald. Mark Tendam (6th) attends a city meeting in February. Tendam was endorsed Thursday by former mayoral candidate Jeff Smith, who did not receive enough votes in the February primary to advance.

Rishika Dugyala, Reporter

Former mayoral candidate Jeff Smith endorsed Ald. Mark Tendam (6th) on Thursday ahead of the April 4 general election.

Smith became the second former candidate to do so, joining Gary Gaspard — a former Evanston Township supervisor and mayoral contender — who declared his support for Tendam just a few days earlier.

“I plan to vote for Mark Tendam and urge my supporters, as well as those who did not vote at all in the unprecedented February primary, to do so,” Smith (Weinberg ’77) said in a news release. “Voters need to come out on April 4 and make a decision that reflects important differences that do exist.”

Tendam, who has served on City Council since 2009, told The Daily in early February he would prioritize job creation and affordable housing, focusing particularly on those who are homeless or struggle with mental health issues or substance abuse, if elected.

Although Smith’s own mayoral campaign ended after he gained only 13 percent of the vote in last month’s primary, the Evanston attorney also focused on environmental and affordability issues.

Smith lauded Tendam’s eight years as an elected official, his “grassroots authenticity” and his record of leadership on controversial and green issues.

“All his petitions were gathered by Evanston residents, including some veteran organizers, and over 100 by Ald. Tendam himself, including actual door-to-door work,” Smith said in the news release. “He is not relying on record-breaking spending to purchase community recognition.”

After earning more than 20 percent of the vote in the primary, Tendam will face businessman Steve Hagerty in the general election.

Hagerty, who received more than 44 percent of the vote in the primary, has also received multiple endorsements, including one from Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and another from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

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Twitter: @rdugyala822