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Lawrence announces plans to run for Aurora alderman at large

Rick Lawrence

Rick Lawrence

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Updated: November 22, 2012 6:31AM

AURORA — Alderman Rick Lawrence will be making a run for a City Council alderman at-large position in the April 2013 election, instead of for his current 4th Ward post.

Lawrence, who has represented the city’s 4th Ward for seven years, said Friday he intends to “expand the successful efforts with taxpayers, schools, police and businesses citywide to address chronic problems, create aggressive solutions and make all of Aurora a better place to live.”

Lawrence cited issues he has focused on during his term in office, including the Aurora Housing Authority and Jericho Circle public housing complex, “wild spending by this administration” and “issues that burden our schools.”

Alderman at-large Bob O’Connor, whose position is up for election in April, said Friday that he expects to officially confirm a run for re-election at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. O’Connor, chairman of the city’s Finance Committee, has served on the City Council since 1985.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done that I think I can be involved in,” O’Connor said. “I still have the thoughts and ideas and want to keep moving ahead.”

Lawrence said Friday that he would be able to continue to serve the people in the former 4th Ward boundaries, while tackling East Side housing issues and other citywide problems as alderman at-large. Lawrence said the 4th Ward boundaries were “gerrymandered” during the city’s ward redistricting process this year.

“As alderman at-large, I will continue to stand up for taxpayers, ask the important questions, speak up and protect our tax dollars, while continuing to focus on improving the quality of life here in Aurora,” Lawrence said.

In 2008, Lawrence announced a mayoral run against incumbent Mayor Tom Weisner, but dropped out of the race eight months later. This time around, Lawrence won’t make a run for mayor against Weisner, who is running for re-election, he said.

But Lawrence said he hopes someone steps up to run against Weisner.

“If not, I’ll be there to keep him in check,” said Lawrence, a frequent critic of the mayor.

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