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Daley Re-Elected in Chicago

April 3, 1991

CHICAGO (AP) _ Mayor Richard M. Daley was elected to his first full term Tuesday, easily toppling his opponents to continue a legacy begun by his father more than 35 years ago.

″This campaign was a milestone for all of us,″ Daley said. ″We’ve shattered the myth that with every Chicago election must come bitterness and name-calling.″

The eldest son of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley was the easy favorite against Harold Washington Party candidate R. Eugene Pincham, Republican George Gottlieb and James A. Warren of the Socialist Workers Party.

Gottlieb, a police sergeant, was given little chance of victory in Chicago, a Democratic city of 2.8 million people. Republicans last won the mayor’s office in 1927.

″We’ll be back again and we’ll be stronger the next time,″ Gottlieb told supporters.

Pincham, a black former state appellate judge, carried the banner of the party formed after the 1987 death of Washington, the city’s first black mayor. But he and the Washington Party have failed to capture the black and liberal voting blocs that propelled Washington to office.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners predicted a 46 percent turnout - a record low for a municipal election. Tom Leach, a board spokesman, said the previous low was in April 1975, at the height of the elder Daley’s reign, when 47.3 percent voted.

With 2,653 of 2,912 precincts reporting, unofficial returns gave Daley 424,901 votes, or 72 percent. Pincham had 138,929 votes or 24 percent. Gottlieb had 22,260, or 4 percent. Warren had 3,177 votes, or 1 percent.

In elections elsewhere:

-Wisconsin voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution to enable the state to buy, build and refurbish private housing for low-income residents.

Backers of the ″affordable housing″ amendment, including the Wisconsin Realtors Association and homeless advocates, argued the change is essential to provide safe, affordable housing to low-income families and the elderly.

But opponents, led by state Rep. David Prosser, charged the amendment would encourage a ″full flowering of the welfare state in Wisconsin.″

- In Colorado Springs, Colo., Mayor Robert Isaac overcame his first major challenge since he took office 12 years ago by defeating Councilwoman Mary Ellen McNally and four other candidates. Residents also approved amendments requiring voter approval of any new taxes and authorizing cuts in taxes.

-In Fort Collins, Mayor Susan Kirkpatrick, a 40-year-old doctoral candidate at Colorado State University, defeated Smokey Spencer, a 21-year-old student.

-In East St. Louis, Ill., Gordon Bush, 48, a former city treasurer, ran uncontested after defeating Mayor Carl E. Officer by a nearly 3-to-1 margin in the Democratic primary. East St. Louis is $47 million in debt and has been unable to pay for trash pickup for more than two years.

-In Springfield, first-term Mayor Oswald ″Ossie″ Langfelder, 64, defeated the city’s elected public works director, R. Todd Renfrow, 56, in a race between the top two vote-getters in February’s non-partisan primary.

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Daley, 48, trampled his Democratic opponents in the Feb. 26 primary, capturing 63.5 percent of the vote and eclipsing his 55.4 percent showing in 1989 when he was elected to complete Washington’s second term after he died in office.

Daley made inroads in all-black wards during the primary and said at the time that his victory proved ″we can have an election in Chicago without tearing our city apart.″

He continued that theme after the primary with a quiet campaign that focused more on getting out the vote than attacking his opponents.

Daley was endorsed by the city’s two largest daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, and by the Chicago Defender, the city’s largest black daily.

Pincham, 66, tried to blame Daley for allegations of police brutality, while the 42-year-old Gottlieb labeled the mayor a poor planner. Both criticized Daley for refusing to debate.

Daley’s political career was launched in 1968 when, after passing the bar on his third try, his father gave him a job as an assistant corporation counsel. He served in the state Senate and was elected Cook County state’s attorney before becoming mayor.

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