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John Arena Gets Nod from Progressives in 45th Ward Race

Ald. Pat Levar (D-45) announced that he will not run again for alderman of the 45th Ward but Though Ald. Pat Levar has some health problems, he says he will not retire and a half-dozen candidates are vying to be elected as the next alderman of the 45th Ward, including Anna Klocek, Don Blair, Bruno Belissimo, Jose Rivera, Greg Sedlacek and John Arena.

Arena’s bid to become Chicago’s 45th Ward alderman got a boost from the progressive community as the Northside Democracy For America (NDFA) endorsed the businessman. Northside Democracy For America (NDFA) is the local chapter of Democracy for America (DFA,) an organization created in the aftermath of the 2004 presidential election.

NDFA endorses many candidates, but the group also “adopts” four candidates per election cycle. Three-fourths of NDFA members must approve of endorsement, and 90 percent of members must agree to adoption. The candidates who are selected get the help from NDFA volunteers and organizational support.

“Being endorsed by a volunteer-based organization such as NDFA is an honor,” Arena said in a press release. “But to be adopted by such an impressive group of dedicated, politically active citizens is a refreshing reminder of the amazing potential of grassroots community action in this municipal election season. I look forward to working with our NDFA liaison to make this campaign even stronger than we were yesterday.”

Josh Kilroy, Arena’s campaign manager, noted that DFA has supported reform candidates Forrest Claypool and Mike Quigley while declining to endorse Todd Stroger and incumbent Ald. Pat Levar.

The NDFA’s endorsement and adoption procedures are available from their website.

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