Prentice Butler faces Lamont Robinson in 4th Ward

CHICAGO (CBS) — With Ald. Sophia King stepping down at the end of her term, following a failed bid for the mayor’s office, voters in the 4th Ward will be deciding between her top aide and a local state lawmaker in the upcoming runoff election.

Illinois State Rep. Lamont Robinson took 46.3% of the vote in the first round of voting on Feb. 28. Prentice Butler, who serves as King’s chief of staff, got 15.2% of the vote, but also has won the endorsement of three of the remaining four candidates who were on the ballot in February.

The ward includes parts of the South Loop, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, and Kenwood neighborhoods.

CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra spoke to both candidates about the race.

Butler said he wants “to make sure we continue our forward progression as a community.”

“I want to make sure we have safe communities, we have schools, and equitable economic development in the 4th Ward,” he said. “The number one issue right now is obviously, just like across the city, public safety, right? So we want to make sure, whoever’s the new mayor, that we are prioritizing a good relationship between CPD and the community and City Hall. We have to improve the morale that I see that is really low right now in the city of Chicago within CPD.”

Butler said he would like to improve collaboration between people who live in the ward and the officers who patrol the streets. But he also said the city needs more mental health first responders to respond to mental health calls rather than police; and more social workers, violence interrupters, and other programming to address the causes of crime.

Robinson, who has served in the Illinois House since 2019, touted his efforts to bring in resources for anti-violence initiatives, a local senior center, and a community center; and said he believes the City Council needs new leadership.

He agreed public safety is the biggest issue in the ward and the city overall, and said he wants to focus on economic development and “economic empowerment” to give people more opportunities for jobs to help address some of the causes of crime.

“We need to be able to assist our small businesses to come into the ward and employ folks. Our businesses that are already in the ward, we need to allow them to expand. We need to also make sure that we have opportunities for affordable rents for working folks, as well as affordable housing,” he said.

You can watch both candidates’ full interviews in the video player above.

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