Ald. Timmy Knudsen wins runoff, keeps seat in 43rd Ward


Patrick Sloan-Turner

43rd Ward alderman Timmy Knudsen smiles to a crowd of supporters after securing victory over Brian Comer in Tuesday night’s runoff election.

Receiving more votes than any candidate in a 43rd Ward aldermanic election in Chicago history, Ald. Timmy Knudsen defeated Brian Comer to keep his seat in a tightly contested race Tuesday night.

“We left everything on the table and look where we landed,” Knudsen said to a crowd of supporters and family in Lincoln Park.

With 100% of precincts reporting, nearly 8,000 ballots were cast in favor of the Knudsen, giving him a more than 500 vote advantage of Comer.

Knudsen and Comer topped a field of six candidates on Feb. 28, but neither received the more than 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff.

In the final push ahead of Tuesday’s election, Knudsen collected significant endorsements from both Illinois’ U.S. Senators, Democrats Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

At Knudsen’s victory party Tuesday night were two of his former opponents in the first round of the election, Wendi Taylor Nations and Rebecca Janowitz. In his victory speech, he thanked both for their support along with other members of his coalition.

“Throughout this campaign, we shared a positive and detailed message of improving public safety, stabilizing city finances and advancing fundamental rights,” Knudsen said. “Over the next four years, I cannot wait to advance this progressive agenda.”

Like most other Chicago municipal races, public safety dominated the 43rd Ward race. Though the ward is home to some of the wealthiest residents in Chicago, still, crime was at the forefront of messaging from each candidate.

Weeks before the election, controversy struck Knudsen’s opponent. Comer, who is the current president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association, spread false information following an incident involving police in Lincoln Park on March 10. The now aldermanic runner up posted a video to Facebook in which he incorrectly stated a CPD officer had been shot. The video was removed weeks later.

At his victory event Tuesday night, supporters of Knudsen pointed to his work combatting ward crime in his relatively short stint thus far as alderman.

Although he’s held the seat since September, Tuesday night was Knudsen’s first victory in any election. The current youngest member of Chicago city council was appointed to the position by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, following former alderperson Michele Smith’s abrupt retirement.

“I vow that I will continue [our] work,” Knudsen said. “Representing our ward with respect, with stability and leading the rest of the city as the 43rd Ward has always done.”