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David Gonzalez Will Be the Next Mayor of Chicago Heights

The mayor-elect will be sworn in this May.

The Chicago Heights elections saw plenty of controversy, from accusations of electioneering and voter fraud during the early voting period to both mayoral candidates filing lawsuits against each other.

In the end, David Gonzalez came out on top, scooping up more than 3,500 votes in the first contested mayoral election in Chicago Heights since 2003. Gonzalez defated his opponent, Joseph Faso, by more than 900 votes, unofficially. 

The mayor-elect's celebrated the victory at Reflections in Chicago Heights Tuesday night.

"It was a great victory," Gonzalez said. "We put a message out to residents. They listened to the message and they believe in the vision that we have. Not just myself, but all of my candidates from the Unity Party, and I'm just very proud to be representing the residents of Chicago Heights from this point forward."

Gonzalez also discussed what his No. 1 priority will be when he takes office in May.

"First on my agenda is to put a transition team together to see the condition of the city, where the city's at," Gonzalez said. "And then we're going to go ahead and start tackling the problems. The number one priority is crime and drugs in the city of Chicago Heights."

Joseph Faso has declined to comment at this time, but said he would address the election results on Wednesday. 

Tempers flared late in the race as the Faso's campaign released video ads and mailers that accusing David's brother, Albert Gonzalez, of selling cocaine out of the CPA's accounting firm. The ads also ask if Gonzalez would sell drugs out of city hall, if elected. Gonzalez has pursued a slander lawsuit against Faso for the accusations. Faso has filed a countersuit.

Most of the city officials elected Tuesday ran alongside Gonzalez as members of the Unity Party of Chicago Heights, with the exception of Integrity Party member Josh Deabel who was elected to replace Faso as Fourth Ward Alderman.

According to the unofficial results, this will be the new Chicago Heights City Council:

Mayor - David A. Gonzalez

City Clerk - Lori Wilcox

City Treasurer - James "Jim" Dee

Ward One - Willie J. White

Ward Two  - Sonia Perez

Ward Three - Wanda Rodgers 

Ward Four - Joshua Deabel

Ward Five - Richard J. Amadio

Ward Six  - Vincent J. Zaranti

Ward Seven  - Sylvia Torres

Additional reporting by Patch contributor Mary Compton.

Mia Wallace April 07, 2011 at 12:54 PM
For all of the people that spoke out about CARING FOR THE HEIGHTS---"put up or shut up", right Tom?? So, now we have new leadership. What is your plans for HELPING our leaders with Chicago Heights? Are you going to keep bad mouthing them, waiting for four years and praying for their failure? Or do you REALLY CARE about Chicago Heights, and have reached out to PARTICIPATE and lend support to helping our city. PUT UP OR SHUT UP. Politics are over. It is time for positivity and production.
Mia Wallace April 07, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Make sure you lend a helping hand too. Your neighbor, with the Faso sign, should call Faso and ask him what he intends to do to HELP our new Mayor with bringing our city back to life.
PULP FICTION April 07, 2011 at 03:07 PM
The sign stealing that went on my block and Faso signs stayed up. A big change to see Gonzalez yard signs were still up, but when I made it home election night. The Faso folks took theirs down and hid. Glad the mudslinging is over and Wish Dave and Administration the best to get things done. That is what its all about. Faso folks who were out stealing off "voters" yards in the city, pissed many voters off too.
PULP FICTION April 07, 2011 at 03:09 PM
It would have been the same if he was elected. Would not have returned any calls. I said it before. Stick to what you are going to do if elected. And leave family members etc out. Congrats Dave and Team. Great job in organizing.
PULP FICTION April 07, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Did you take a picture of that? But maybe later down the line it will heal. But the election is over. now lets get work done.
Christopher Paicely (Editor) April 07, 2011 at 03:35 PM
I have to ask... Are there really a lot of Tarantino buffs in Chicago Heights? Just seems like a random and interesting trend on the site.
Jasmine Bell April 07, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Congrats Dave--- I mean WINSTON on winning the election. You kind of remind me of Barak Obama. No one knew who you were until you decided to run for mayor. Then you come out, campaign strong and loud, and promise everyone a "change." Yet in a few years, just like Barak Obama, the citizens will soon realize, as will you...that you CLEARLY bit off more than you can chew with all of your false promises, and it will be a lot of the SAME. Since the election is now over, let's hope that this is not the case and you and your "Unity Party" do what was promised. What's funny is people were saying things like, "Don't vote for Joe Faso...you will just be voting the mob back in." Yet Gonzalez was really the one with the "mob" ties with good 'ol Chuck Panici rallying for him among others. As far as the sign stealing goes....I believe and KNOW for a fact there was plenty of that going on perhaps on both sides. So you cannot really point a finger to one particular party sign stealing. Also, since the first thing on the UNITY PARTY agenda is to clean up crime and drugs and gangs, let's start with cleaning up your Facebook page Gonzalez. It is open to the public, and I have seen numerous, NUMEROUS Latin Kings and their girlfriends congratulating you on your win. Is that not the pot calling the kettle black? I won't name names...but I can name about 10 men and women off the top of my head. Be careful!
Jasmine Bell April 07, 2011 at 09:11 PM
One more thing---let me just say that it doesn't matter WHO would have one the Mayoral Race. We will never, in out lifetime see a NICE Chicago Heights. Not in our lifetime and not in our children's lifetime. It will continue to get worse and worse. This isn't the 1950's anymore. Chicago Heights HAD it's "hay day" so to speak. You won't see a Starbucks or any decent restaraunts or shopping around this town. We will contiue to venture out to Homewood, Matteson, Orland and other places. No one takes care of their houses, and no one seems to care. And the school systems are getting worse and worse out here. You all have your work cut out for you! Good luck!
Jasmine Bell April 07, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Mia---I'm sorry, honey, but what do YOU intend to do to help this mayor bring this city back to life? Exactly.
Tom April 07, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Well said Jasmine. I agree with you completely on every one of your points. Here's hoping it wasn't all smoke and mirrors.
Winston Wolf April 07, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I am happy to know that people with such a negative view of the Heights did not get their chosen candidate elected mayor.
Mia Wallace April 08, 2011 at 01:51 AM
I am reading jasmine's blog and imagining this lady, flushed red, with smoke coming out her ears-screaming at her kids for playing too loud and puffing on a cigarette. Jasmine: breathe in. hold it for five seconds. exhale and really feel the air leave your lungs. feel the negativity release. repeat. (or you can just breathe in and hold it. no exhale needed and then we won't have to read anymore of your obnoxious thoughts).
Mia Wallace April 08, 2011 at 01:52 AM
right?!
Tom April 08, 2011 at 06:52 AM
But we still get to listen to you right because deep down inside you know we need your advice and knowledge, Correct? You really need a hobby, if all you do is imagine what everybody else is doing.
Jasmine Bell April 08, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Good one Mia. Obnoxious thoughts? More like the obnoxious truth. Here honey...call me in a few years and let me know how much the Heights has changed for the "better." Or better yet, let me know how it has not changed at all and how it's gotten worse. I myself can't wait to see all the new liquor stores, gas stations, ghetto clothing shops, and "mom and pop" taco corner stores that will be going up. Oh and Mia...one more thing. How sad you imagine at me like that. How comical actually. Because you just "imagined" the new breed of ghetto that now lives in and will be moving into the Heights.
Christopher Paicely (Editor) April 08, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Hello all, Let's move away from the personal insults before this escalates. This is an avenue for conversation. Differences in opinion are allowed and don't have to lead to insults.
Winston Wolf April 08, 2011 at 01:20 PM
I agree with Chris. The election is over. It's time to move on and work together to better our community.
Kim April 08, 2011 at 02:28 PM
This might be interesting, name 5 things you would like to see changed for the better in Chicago Heights: (be specific, we'd all like to see less crime, no drugs etc.) 1) Starbucks-Silly request I know, but a small city in America without a Starbucks says a lot. 2) 10% increase in the high school graduation rate 3) Less gang tags-really, who does this anymore? They're usually done half-ass and just make everything look bad. Does crappy spray paint really convey a message of power and control? 4) More police community involvement. There are some fantastic officers in the Heights but nobody really gets to interact w/ them until something bad happens. 5) Take walks. Enjoy the house, the apartment, the street & the community you're in. Obviously if you're still here you're not leaving, so take back what you worked so hard to pay for. It may not be so great, but it's YOURS. Mayors come and go, maybe they get some things done, maybe they don't, but the people are what make or break the community.
mr lahey April 08, 2011 at 04:05 PM
great idea! here are my 5... clean up the look of the town (street corners, trash, weeds, painted poles, remove old signs) on the major 4 roads first work on eliminating the boarding up of buildings and homes....there must be another way these look just awful co-ordinate the traffic lights better...some are ridiculous..no one coming and red light? would save us all a lot of gas! make businesses responsible for the appearance of their property, even those vacant or moved encourage more citizen involvement via city wbsite, volunteer projects and public awareness of current events i've got a lot more!
Kim April 08, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Mr Lahey, Great ideas! I like the weed thing and those light timers ARE a little strange. It starts with just one thing looking nicer and spreads. Vacant parking lots can host bicycle safety training, big wheel derby's for little ones or a street hockey league. There's about 3 vacant houses on my parents street. It takes 10 minutes to pick up the garbage on one of the lawns. My job? No, but it makes the street look 10x better when I drive by.
Winston Wolf April 08, 2011 at 05:25 PM
I encourage you to bring these ideas and more to your alderman and mayor over the next several months. Let's keep the Unity momentum going!
Kim April 08, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Winston, I've talked to some people in the neighborhood and there seems to be this feeling that if things improve w/ the new administration, the credit will go to the party in office. There so much bitterness on all sides, some lifelong grudges that it prevents positive movement. A shame but still a reality in some areas. I totally agree with you to contact the aldermen and the mayor, but I hesitate to push party names. How about "keep the COMMUNITY momentum going?" In four years it will be clear where the improvements are and who got things done.
Winston Wolf April 08, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Kim, I think some of that comes from the nasty campaign that Mr. Faso ran. It engendered a lot of bitterness, and I am happy that a wide majority of the city rejected it. I think it also contributed to the low turnout (38%). I hope that those who really care about the community will work together, no matter which side they took in the election.
David April 09, 2011 at 12:58 AM
I'm going to start a new party today. It's called "The Take Your Damn Signs Down Party" Our platform is that we shouldn't see political signs--for the winners or the losers-- still up 4 days after the election. They make everything look ugly as sin.
Winston Wolf April 09, 2011 at 04:06 AM
How are they any uglier today than they were Monday? Anyway, I don't think that's much of a platform for a political party. Seems pretty one-dimensional.
Susan Paus April 09, 2011 at 04:03 PM
WOW! OK I agree w/ Christopher P, and also Yeah Winston, why'd u even say "Unity" momentum, anyhow? Just say momentum / good momentum, if u must add a word to it. You keep going on and on about this party.. Didn't you (or someone on here!) say to "forget politics and just move forward" don't keep harping on how great yr party is and how they won, blah, blah
JuanRaymon April 11, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Winston, DAVID!, ur dumb if you think you won by a wide majority. I will always love this city and can't wait to get on the political scene to fight your SICK corrupt mind. I should've helped Faso more i'm disgusted by what you've done to our city. 900 votes is all you won by, and that low turnout is higher than average. Do what you've promised or you'll be outta here in FOUR years!!!
The Future April 11, 2011 at 11:41 AM
*
The Future April 11, 2011 at 11:52 AM
I would like to say that school district 170 (pre-k thru 8th grade) is getting better every day! There are so many positive things happening now its unreal! Its easy to make a school district the target of a towns shortcomings but if you are on the inside you could see the great job the people are doing there from the board to the superintendant on down! ISAT requirments are being met, athletics are thriving and becoming a driving force in academic motivation! When critisizing a city dont always attack the school districts, our schools are filled with kids that want a better life and that want to be a part of something they can be proud of....so lets all try to set good examples. Have a great week!
The Future April 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM
I happen to know both Joey Faso and Dave Gonzalez personally, although Joey's campaign took an ugly turn and Dave returned the favor in a defensive mechanism type situation, both men are good men. They both care about the city and are strong family people. If anyone thinks for one second that either man wants to hurt the city and not help it you are wrong. Lets all wait and see and try to do our part to make chicago heights a better place.

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