• Erin Hegarty
    SEP 19, 2022

    Lightfoot picks zoning board’s Timmy Knudsen as new 43rd Ward alderman

    Timmy Knudsen [Friends of Timmy Knudsen]

    Timmy Knudsen could become Chicago’s newest alderman if his potential new colleagues approve his appointment during a committee meeting Tuesday.

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Knudsen as her pick to replace former 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith, who left office Aug. 12 after abruptly announcing her resignation in July. The City Council Committee on Committees and Rules will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday to consider Knudsen’s appointment and his council committee assignments.

    Knudsen, a partner at law firm Croke, Fairchild, Morgan & Beres, had served as chair of the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals since 2020 but is currently on leave from the position. Knudsen was also on leave from his position with Croke, Fairchild, Morgan & Beres.

    Knudsen has a “passion for connecting with his neighbors and encouraging hope, energy, and opportunity for Chicago residents makes him uniquely situated to serve as Alderman,” Lightfoot was quoted as saying in a news release announcing the nomination. “Timmy is deeply connected to the needs of 43rd ward residents and has the skills to communicate effectively, lean on the expertise of trusted messengers without ego, and encourage civic engagement.”

    In a statement, Knudsen said that “as I have throughout my legal career, my public service chairing the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals and my time as a grassroots organizer, I will be an advocate and consensus builder as alderman.”

    “I bring a passion for private sector results to public service and am honored to have a new way to give back to the community I call home,” Knudsen said.

    Knudsen was one of 17 people who submitted applications to serve out the remainder of Smith’s term. At least four of the people who submitted applications, including Knudsen, have also filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections to run for the seat in next year’s election.

    Kundsen filed paperwork for his campaign committee in July and has launched his official campaign website.

    Rebecca Janowitz, who until 2021 worked with the Cook County Justice Advisory Council as special assistant for legal affairs, challenged Smith in 2019 and filed paperwork to run for the 43rd Ward seat in August. 

    Janowitz on Tuesday reported two $250,000 loans she made to her own campaign — amounts that each lift the funding caps for the ward race, though her campaign is still required to file a notice of self-funding with the State Board of Elections.

    Janowitz came in fifth place in the six-way 2019 election for the 43rd Ward aldermanic seat with just under 5 percent of the votes.

    Knudsen’s campaign responded to Janowitz’s large cap-busting donations Tuesday with a tweet from Monday saying “So grateful to the many friends and family who hit the streets this weekend. #TeamTimmy is energized and building momentum by the day!”

    Wendi Taylor Nations, executive vice president and partner for Hawthorne Strategy Group, filed her paperwork to run for 43rd Ward alderman last week. Nations previously served as chief marketing and communications officer for World Business Chicago from 2014 to 2017.

    Brian Comer, a consultant, filed his paperwork to run for 43rd Ward alderman last month. Prior to working as lead consultant and partner for Brian Comer Consulting, Comer worked as a business development manager for Acciona Energy North America Corporation.

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