CHICAGO
01/18/2011 04:58 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ald. Gene Schulter Retiring: 47th Ward Alderman Won't Run For Re-Election

The clearing of the decks at the Chicago City Council continues this week, as one of the longest-serving aldermen announced he would drop out of the race for re-election.

Eugene Schulter, the representative of the 47th Ward, announced that he would not be seeking another term on the Council, after serving the ward for 35 years. His departure makes him the 11th sitting alderman to announce his retirement in advance of February's city elections.

Some had questioned how serious Schulter was about holding the seat in the first place, as his longtime ally Tom O'Donnell is also on the ballot. The Sun-Times reports that O'Donnell "allegedly got the approval from Schulter to run for alderman in the event that the incumbent later decided to drop out of the race."

Instead, Schulter appears to be seeking a seat on the Cook County Board of Review, the three-person group that handles appeals of property tax assessments.

He's hoping to fill the seat vacated by Joe Berrios, the powerful chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party who left the Board of Review to win the race for Assessor. Berrios is reportedly not thrilled about the idea of Schulter succeeding him, as the alderman supported Berrios's rival Forrest Claypool in the Assessor's campaign.

Berrios said Schulter should expect "the same support he gave me."

Candidates for the Board seat are set to meet with Cook County Judge Tim Evans later this week; that judge will likely choose Berrios's replacement this month.