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Tom Tunney
Vice Mayor of Chicago
Assumed office
May 20, 2019
MayorLori Lightfoot
Preceded byBrendan Reilly
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 44th ward
Assumed office
January 2003
Preceded byBernie Hansen
Personal details
Born (1955-08-22) August 22, 1955 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (BA)
Cornell University (MA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Thomas M. Tunney (born August 22, 1955) is an American politician and entrepreneur from Chicago, Illinois. Since 2003, he has served as an alderman on the Chicago City Council. He represents the prominent 44th Ward of the city, which includes major tourist destinations, Boystown and Wrigleyville neighborhoods. He was elected vice mayor in 2019.

Education

Tunney was born and raised in the southwest side of Chicago. After graduating from Brother Rice, a local Catholic high school, he attended the University of Illinois where he obtained his bachelor's degree in restaurant management. Tunney succeeded in obtaining a master's degree in hotel administration from Cornell University.

Entrepreneur

Returning from college, Tunney moved into the Lakeview neighborhood. Hearing that Ann Sather was retiring and closing her restaurant in Lakeview in 1981, Tunney met with Sather, offering a proposal to purchase her business. Tunney gained full ownership of the Ann Sather Restaurant and expanded it into a successful local chain.[1][2]

Tunney joined several prestigious entrepreneurial circles and became chairman of the Illinois Restaurant Association. He founded and led the Lakeview Center Business Association and White Crane Wellness Center. As a result of his success, Tunney was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1995.[3]

Public service

Tunney opened his restaurants to grassroots and nonprofit organizations as town halls, serving as free meeting places. He committed himself to helping people with HIV and AIDS through programs he created, adopted by the Illinois Masonic Hospital. With a growing business network, Tunney became a fundraiser for local gay and lesbian political advocacy groups.[citation needed]

Tunney chaired the small business subcommittee of the Chicago Economic Development Committee. Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Tunney to the mayor's Parking Task Force.[citation needed]

Alderman

In 2002, just months before the 2003 municipal elections, 44th Ward Alderman Bernie Hansen announced that he would retire. Hansen resigned just months before the election so as to allow the mayor to appoint the replacement alderman. Mayor Richard M. Daley, with Hansen's consent, nominated Tunney to replace Hansen in December 2002. Tunney's nomination was confirmed by a 41–0 vote of the city council on January 16, 2003, and, with wide support in the Democratic Party, Tunney was elected to a four-year term as alderman on February 25, 2003. He has been re-elected four times, in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.

During his campaign Tunney claimed that he would address the potential conflict of interest which would arise through his business arrangements by selling his interest in four restaurants. After being elected and sworn in, Tunney decided not to sell.[4]

Tunney introduced an ordinance repealing Chicago's ban on foie gras in July 2007 and spearheaded passage of the repeal on May 14, 2008.[5][6]

Tunney considered running for mayor in 2011,[7] but ultimately did not.

In 2013, Tunney denied unattributed published reports that he supported moving or demolish the iconic scoreboard at Wrigley Field to clear the view for nearby rooftops owners.[8][9]

Tunney has had an often adversarial relationship with the Ricketts family, current owners of the Chicago Cubs, whose stadium, Wrigley Field, is located in his ward. The Ricketts family has accused Tunney of being, "needlessly disrespectful" in negotiations with them about the redevelopment of Wrigley Field.[10] Cubs chairman Thomas S. Ricketts has publicly criticized Tunney.[11]

Tunney considered running for mayor in 2019,[12] but ultimately did not. In the runoff of the election, Tunney endorsed Lori Lightfoot.[13][14]

On May 17, three days prior to her inauguration as mayor, Lightfoot tapped Tunney to serve as both Vice Mayor and Chairman of the Council's Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards.[15] On May 29, 2019, Tunney was formally appointed as Chairman of the Council's Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards. [16]

Personal life

Tunney is the cousin of actress Robin Tunney, who played Agent Lisbon on The Mentalist.[17]

Tunney was the first gay Chicago Alderman.[18][19]

Electoral history

2003 Chicago 44th Ward aldermanic general election[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Thomas M. Tunney (incumbent) 6,014 59.39
Nonpartisan Rick Ingram 2,280 22.52
Nonpartisan Dean Margos 1,343 13.26
Nonpartisan Karen Kennedy 296 2.92
Nonpartisan Matthew A. Fordham 193 1.91
Total votes 10,126 100
2007 Chicago 44th Ward aldermanic general election[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tom Tunney (incumbent) 5,824 100
Total votes 5,824 100
2011 Chicago 44th Ward aldermanic general election[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Thomas M. Tunney (incumbent) 11,129 100
Total votes 11,129 100
2015 Chicago 44th Ward aldermanic general election[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tom Tunney (incumbent) 6,126 67.06
Nonpartisan Mark Thomas 2,153 23.57
Nonpartisan Scott Davis 854 9.35
Write-in Robin Cook 2 0.02
Total votes 9,135 100
2019 Chicago 44th Ward aldermanic general election[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tom Tunney (incumbent) 9,734 64.44
Nonpartisan Austin Baidas 3,794 25.12
Nonpartisan Elizabeth Shydlowski 1,577 10.44
Total votes 15,105 100

See also

References

  1. ^ Mihalopoulos, Dan (2 May 2008). "What's your alderman's side job?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  2. ^ Spielman, Fran (2007-05-02). "Ald. Burke loses 10 blue-chip clients; replaces them". Chicago Sun-Times.
  3. ^ "Inductees to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Tunney won't sell". Windy City Times. 2003-07-02. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  5. ^ Davis, Andrew (2008-05-21). "Tunney and the foie gras repeal". Windy City Times. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  6. ^ Davey, Monica (2008-05-15). "Ban Lifted, Foie Gras Is Back on the Menu in Chicago". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  7. ^ "Ald. Tom Tunney Mulls Mayoral Bid...Would Chicago Elect An Openly Gay Mayor?". HuffPost. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  8. ^ Chumley, Cheryl K. (21 March 2013). "Chicago politico proposes tearing down Wrigley Field scoreboard". Washington Times. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  9. ^ Dardick, Hal; Byrne, John (2013-03-21). "Is Tunney being unfairly knocked in Wrigley talks?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  10. ^ Joravsky, Ben (18 February 2019). "Just call Tom Tunney Alderman Lucky". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  11. ^ Ruthart, Bill; Bryrne, John (17 January 2019). "Tom Ricketts rips Ald. Tom Tunney on sports radio, saying 'he is against the Cubs'". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  12. ^ Arriaga, Alexandra (26 November 2018). "Latest list of Chicago mayoral candidates who are in, considering". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Statement by 44th Ward Alderman Tom... - Re-Elect Alderman Tom Tunney". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Lightfoot, Lori (May 1, 2018). "Lori Lightfoot on Twitter: "After speaking at Rainbow PUSH, I headed up to @AnnSather Restaurant to talk to residents about the issues they care about in this election. Thank you to Ald. @tomtunney44, @StateRepSara, and @RepAnnWilliams for having me. #TeamLightfoot #LightfootGOTV‌"". Twitter.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Spielman, Fran (17 May 2019). "Lightfoot shakes up the City Council". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Takeaways from Lightfoot's First Chicago City Council Meeting".
  17. ^ Crowder, Courtney (21 September 2010). "Palos Heights native wears a smile on CBS' 'Mentalist'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  18. ^ "Catching up with Tom Tunney". 8 January 2013.
  19. ^ "City Council to form five-member Gay Caucus". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2015-05-28.
  20. ^ "TABULATED STATEMENT OF THE RETURNS AND PROCLAMATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE CANVASS OF THE ELECTION RETURNS FOR THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION HELD IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS IN ALL OF THE WARDS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2003 A.D." (PDF). Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  21. ^ "TABULATED STATEMENT OF THE RETURNS AND PROCLAMATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE CANVASS OF THE ELECTION RETURNS FOR THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION HELD IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS IN ALL OF THE WARDS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2007 A.D." (PDF). Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  22. ^ "TABULATED STATEMENT OF THE RETURNS AND PROCLAMATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE CANVASS OF THE ELECTION RETURNS FOR THE FEBRUARY 22, 2011 MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION HELD IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS IN ALL OF THE WARDS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO" (PDF). Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  23. ^ "TABULATED STATEMENT OF THE RETURNS AND PROCLAMATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE CANVASS OF THE ELECTION RETURNS FOR THE FEBRUARY 24, 2015 MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION HELD IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS IN ALL OF THE WARDS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO" (PDF). Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  24. ^ "TABULATED STATEMENT OF THE RETURNS AND PROCLAMATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE CANVASS OF THE ELECTION RETURNS FOR THE FEBRUARY 26, 2019 MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION HELD IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS IN ALL OF THE WARDS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO" (PDF). Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 9 March 2020.