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LGBTQ+ candidates Marcelino Garcia, Precious Brady Davis win primary elections to keep MWRD seats
by Jake Wittich

This article shared 12234 times since Thu Mar 21, 2024
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Marcelino Garcia and Precious Brady-Davis, the two openly LGBTQ+ incumbents in the race to keep their seats on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), won their primary elections and will move on to the general this fall.

Garcia, who was among a slate of incumbent commissioners that included Kari Steele and Daniel "Pogo" Pogorzelski, was among four democratic candidates vying to fill three seats for a six-year term on MWRD. With 27.20 percent of the vote and all precincts reporting, Garcia was the second-highest vote-getter, following Steele who had 30.87 percent of votes.

Trailing behind Garcia was candidate Sharon Waller, who knocked Pogorzelski off the MWRD board, beating him by 1 percent of the vote.

Garcia, Steele and Waller will now face off against Republican MWRD candidates Claire Connelly, Richard F. Dale and Brendan Ehlers in the fall.

"I'm elated," said Garcia, who spent the election night surrounded by friends and team members at a watch party. "It was really special to celebrate this win surrounded by the people who helped me get here."

Brady-Davis, who was appointed to the role last summer to fill a vacancy created when Kim du Buclet was appointed to the Illinois General Assembly, was uncontested in her race to finish the last two years of du Buclet's term. With all precincts reporting, Brady-Davis had 157,428 votes. She will compete against Republican candidate R. Cary Capparelli, who got 48,280 votes Tuesday, in the general election.

"I am so honored to be the Democratic nominee," said Brady-Davis, who spent the election night at home watching returns with her family. "It's the culmination of so much hard work and the efforts of a lot of people to make sure I was elected last night, from more than 30,000 people who signed petitions to get me on the ballot to everyone who stood behind me throughout the election."

In pre-election interviews with Windy City Times, both LGBTQ+ MWRD candidates highlighted climate change and dealing with stormwater as the most pressing issues facing the MWRD, which is a nine-member board that protects communities from flood damage and maintains the water quality in Lake Michigan and other bodies of water.

Garcia, who chairs the MWRD's Finance Committee, also said including LGBTQ+- and other minority-owned businesses in its contracts is also crucial to his platform.

"We also need to unbundle some of the big contracts we have out there, to create avenues for smaller companies to be able to penetrate the market," Garcia previously said. "I'm a believer that small businesses create a lot of work in the community, so helping them thrive will positively affect their communities."

Brady-Davis said she sees MWRD's role in protecting the environment increasing in the coming years as the Supreme Court lurches to the right and key provisions of the Clean Water Act have been struck down.

Marcelino said much of the work leading up to the general election will include ensuring that President Joe Biden wins his race, because the incumbent would be a greater ally to the Environmental Protection Agency and other causes.

"I think it's going to be on local agencies like the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to really step up and protect our waterways," Brady-Davis previously told Windy City Times.

The 2024 General Election will happen Nov. 5.

Read more: and .

This article shared 12234 times since Thu Mar 21, 2024
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