Photo Credit: @chicagosmayor

The Gay Chicago Election Project

A Lot of LGBTQ+ Land Is Up For Political Grabs This February

Kyle Palmer
3 min readDec 17, 2022


On February 28th, 2023, the City of Chicago will vote multiple elected officials into office. For races where a candidate cannot attain 50% of the vote, a runoff election will occur on April 4th.

For many observers, the biggest LGBTQ+ story might seem to be the reelection campaign for the city’s first lesbian mayor, Lori Lightfoot. But a larger LGBTQ+ story will evolve within the boundaries where much of Chicago’s LGBTQ+ population lives. For the first time in 12 years Chicago’s 44th, 46th, and 48th wards have no incumbents running for reelection.

The first gay alderman and Vice Mayor of Chicago? Tom Tunney is not running for reelection in the 44th.

The first gay initially-elected alderman? James Cappleman is not running for reelection in the 46th.

The scion of the woman whose name emblazons Chicago’s best-known gay beach? Harry Osterman is not running for reelection in the 48th.

The Boundaries of Chicago’s 44th, 46th, & 48th Wards on Google Maps

The Gay Chicago Election Project

In 2019, I decided to cover the 44th Ward election and recommended a vote for Austin Baidas. In 2023, my goal will be to provide a profile for all 18 candidates running for alderperson in these three wards — even if Chicago’s petition process prevents them from running. Therein I hope to convey each candidate's impetus to run for office, hopes for the future of Chicago, and concerns about the state it is in today. I do not plan to endorse anyone I do or do not interview as profiles are released with the candidate's permission. Below are links to each candidate’s website and profiles as they become available.

What Candidates Receive:

  • A questions list one day prior to the discussion.
  • A full as-recorded audio file of our conversation.
  • A profile based upon the conversation, with their approval.

Completed Profiles:
46 — ProfileMarianne Lalonde
48 — ProfileIsaac Freilich Jones



Kyle Palmer

Midwesterner, Meet World