Vying for the 30th Ward seat vacated by longtime Ald. Ariel Reboyras are Ruth Cruz, an assistant director of admissions at Roosevelt University who also serves on Foreman High School’s Local School Council, and Jessica W. Gutiérrez, a former teacher and policy director for the Puerto Rican Cultural Center who’s the daughter of former U.S. Rep Luis Gutiérrez.
In the Feb. 28 election, Jessica Gutiérrez came in first, with nearly 38% of the vote, while Cruz was the runner-up, with 27%. The Northwest Side ward stretches across neighborhoods including Belmont Cragin, Old Irving Park, Portage Park and Avondale.
Gutiérrez made a name for herself when she took on Reboyras in 2019. The two were closely matched in the first round, but Gutiérrez lost by about 300 votes in the runoff. She has since continued to criticize his leadership, describing him as a mayoral rubber stamp.
Reboyras is backing Cruz. So is U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez, alongside several trade unions, the Chicago Federation of Labor and Chicago Firefighters Local 2.
Gutiérrez has the backing of the United Food & Commercial Workers, several Teamsters locals and Unite Here!, and is also supported by several elected officials, among them U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and Jesús “Chuy” García and Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez.
The candidates have jabbed at each other for their political connections, with Cruz alleging Gutiérrez is riding on her father’s coattails in a ward that is “done with old dynasties” and “political families.”
Gutiérrez has countered by calling Cruz a “puppet” of Reboyras and saying Cruz would continue what she describes as the longtime alderman’s failed policies.