(May 10, 2002) -- 7th District Councilman Ray Grabinski has endorsed Tonia Reyes Uranga in the 7th district Council race to succeed him.
The announcement, contained in an April 30 release from the Uranga campaign, quotes Councilman Grabinski as saying:
"Tonia shares my commitment to the community and has the proven experience to effectively represent the entire 7th District. She represents new leadership and new vision -- not a business as usual attitude -- that is needed on the City Council."
In the release, Ms. Uranga responds, "I am honored to receive Councilman Grabinskiís endorsement because he has been a champion of our neighborhoods, I look forward to continuing his efforts to make our neighborhoods safe and the city business friendly."
The 7th district race is being closely watched citywide as the only Council office remaining to be decided. Like other Councilmembers, the winner will have equal Council voting power on citywide and neighborhood issues impacting both the 7th district and other districts.
Incumbent Councilman Grabinski, who would have had to wage a write-in campaign to retain his Council seat under term limits, ran for Mayor in April, 2002. He finished fourth citywide to incumbent Mayor Beverly O'Neill's write in campaign, Vice Mayor Baker and Norm Ryan.
After representing the 7th district since 1986, Grabinski ran for Mayor in 1994, finishing second to newcomer Beverly O'Neill and exiting the Council. In 1996, he moved into the 8th district and ran for the 8th district Council seat, losing to incumbent Jeff Kellogg. Grabinski then returned to the 7th district and in 1998 ousted one term incumbent Mike Donelon.
Mr. Donelon is trying to regain Council power and finished first in the April, 2002 Council election, drawing roughly 40% of the vote in a field of four candidates. Ms. Uranga finished second with nearly 30% of the vote.
Ms. Uranga is a 30-year resident of the 7th district and the Director of a One-Stop Career Center for adults, youths and the business community, managing an $8 million budget.