A Chicago teenager and DePaul University student is challenging the Chicago political machine in a ward that has essentially been governed by the same people since 1969.
David Krupa, a conservative college freshman and part time forklift driver who describes himself as a “day one Trump supporter,” is attempting to roil the political establishment of one of America’s most corrupt cities with a bid to become the city’s next alderman for the 13th ward. If successful, Krupa will have disrupted a ward that has had its quiet aldermen hand selected by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for decades.
According to NBC Chicago, the sitting alderman of the ward has not been challenged in an election since 1991.
From The Chicago Tribune:
The David is David Krupa, 19, a freshman at DePaul University who drives a forklift part time. He’s not a political powerhouse. He’s just a conservative Southwest Side teenager studying political science and economics who got it in his head to run for alderman in a race that pits him against the most powerful ward organization in Chicago.
The Goliath is the 13th Ward Democratic Organization run by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, aka Boss Madigan, the most powerful politician in the state. Boss Madigan has long hand-picked his aldermen. He likes them loyal and quiet. The current silent alderman of the 13th Ward is Marty Quinn.
In order to have his name on the ballot, Krupa had to secure at least 400 signatures endorsing his bid. He secured 1,700 signatures, and then was immediately challenged by incumbent Alderman Marty Quinn.
Quinn’s camp managed to find nearly 2,700 residents of Chicago’s 13th ward willing to revoke their signature, almost one thousand more people than Krupa had sign. Less than 200 of these revocations matched signatures secured by Krupa.
As the news broke and possible lawsuits were discussed, Quinn quietly dropped his attempt to have Krupa removed from the ballot. The FBI is now investigating the alleged perjury committed by the Quinn campaign, adding more drama to the already tense election in the 13th ward.
Quinn, who is often silent during debates and attempts to stay out of the public eye, is intimately connected with Madigan, one of the most powerful politicians in Illinois. According to the Chicago Reader, Quinn made over $400,000 working for Madigan since 2000.
From the Chicago Reader:
When Quinn started his political work back in the early 2000s, he was more or less a full-time campaign aide for Madigan. In 2013, he got elected to the council. He was reelected last year—not too difficult, as he ran unopposed.
His political work amounts to a second job—which he reports on his council ethics statement under the category of “advisor” to “Friends of Madigan.”
From what party insiders tell me, Quinn is Madigan’s go-to-guy for really important races—like the recent Stratton-Dunkin showdown.
While the Chicago Democrat Machine may be successful in its attempt to keep the teenage Republican out of office, and the alderman seat in Democrat hands, this would seemingly suggest the political establishment is worried, and ready to resort to virtually any length to keep a conservative from disrupting the ruling Democrat dynasties in Chicago.
Krupa will face off against Quinn on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.
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