By Stephanie Choporis and Elizabeth Elving
Alderman Bob Fioretti began his morning as many Chicagoans did- -by heading to the polls. He cast his ballot at his own polling place, an assisted-living facility at 1504 W. Van Buren, alongside fiancee Nicki Pecori. He remained optimistic about his own election day prospects, in spite of a recent Chicago Tribune poll giving him only 7 percent of the vote. “I think we are going to be in the run-off,” he said. “I think it looks pretty good,” he said.
The mayoral candidate spent the morning visiting precincts around the Northwest Side, braving the low temperatures that lowered voter turnout throughout the day.
For lunch he went to Manny’s Deli in University Village on the Near West Side. He was joined at the deli by some of his supporters, as well as fellow Alderman Scott Waguespack.
“When I walked in there was a lot of people here and a lot of people said hi and a lot of very encouraging signs,” Fioretti said.
Fioretti ordered “the usual” – a big pastrami sandwich, potato pancake, matzo ball soup, and a carton of milk–and settled in for two hours.
He wasn’t the only mayoral candidate at Manny’s this afternoon. His opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, was seen posing for pictures with people at the deli. But Fioretti did not seem so concerned with posing with patrons as he did shaking their hands and speaking with them.
“I’m here often,” Fioretti said, “there was another candidate in here. And a couple people said that was the first time he’d ever been here.”
He seemed to blend in with the crowd, sitting with a group in a side room of the restaurant. When he approached various tables to greet guests, an occasional “good luck” was heard from patrons. It was a positive message that he maintained himself.
“I’m lucky,” Fioretti said, “I represent a ward that’s a microcosm of the city,” he said. “Chicago’s not a melting pot, it’s more of a mosaic, and out of that mosaic you hear so many great ideas; people are so committed to this city. It encourages you, it inspires you and it keeps you moving forward.”