04/11/2011 01:37 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2011

45th Ward Runoff: John Arena Wins Over John Garrido By Less Than 30 Votes


John Garrido has decided not to seek a recount, conceding the 45th Ward race to rival John Arena, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He reportedly ended his concession e-mail to supporters with a cliff-hanger: “Who knows, maybe even a rematch in four years," Garrido wrote.


Between low turnout and some hotly contested races, many of last Tuesday's aldermanic runoffs were very close. But none was closer than the race between John Arena and John Garrido in the 45th Ward on Chicago's Northwest Side. At the end of Election Night, Arena held a 29-vote lead over his opponent in the open-seat contest.

Garrido held out during the week for a batch of absentee ballots to be counted. But with the results of those ballots delivered on Friday afternoon, his path to victory became very narrow indeed.

With 48 absentee ballots counted, the margin the race remained unchanged: John Arena still leads by 29 votes.

And according to Jim Allen at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, there are at most 28 absentee votes outstanding in the race.

Arena's campaign has been claiming victory in the race since Wednesday morning. But with the new results in, Arena consultant Michael Rendina sounded more confident than ever to ABC Chicago.

"Mathematically, this race is over," Rendina said. "There's not enough for John Garrido to come back. John Arena will emerge with the majority of the votes in this race."

Garrido conceded that winning the race is now a "long shot," according to the Chicago Tribune. Perhaps his best chance is a recount, in which he could gain a few votes here and there, putting him within striking distance given the remaining outstanding ballots.

But his campaign would have to pay for the recount, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Monday is the last day to challenge election results, initiating a recount. If Garrido doesn't file, he will essentially be conceding defeat.