Weather Updates

Mathews drops out of 4th Ward race

KevMatthews who is running for 4th Ward alderman speaks residents during candidate forum Wesley United Methodist church Monday February 18

Kevin Matthews, who is running for 4th Ward alderman, speaks to residents during a candidate forum at Wesley United Methodist church on Monday, February 18, 2013. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 45056510
tmspicid: 16627782
fileheaderid: 7476068

Updated: February 22, 2013 12:32PM

AURORA — Aldermanic candidate Kevin Mathews announced he will drop out of the 4th Ward race at the beginning of a candidate forum at Freeman Elementary School Thursday night.

Instead, Mathews said he will throw his support behind 20-year-old candidate Jay Leonardi.

“We need to get someone across the finish line who’s not going to be an operatic of the Mayor (Tom Weisner),” Mathews said.

In his speech, Mathews said that he was motivated to run for alderman to ensure candidate Bill Donnell was not elected.

“Time and time again, (Donnell) didn’t do the right thing,” Mathews said. “I’m asking you when you go into that voting booth not to vote for Bill Donnell. When you do, you will be given another ‘yes’ man on the City Council who will do whatever the Mayor instructs.”

Donnell said Mathews’ speech was a “personal attack” against him. Donnell said that he knows folks at City Hall and can work with them to get things done.

“Call me an insider, call me what you want, but I know how to get things done,’ Donnell said.

Mike Leonardi called the announcement a “bombshell.”

“That sounded like a personal attack to me, and I thought personal attacks were not going to be allowed here tonight,” Leonardi said.

Following Mathews’ announcement, six candidates — Mavis Bates, Bill Donnell, Duanne Kleckner, Jay Leonardi, Mike “Leo” Leonardi and Chuck Norris - remain to square off in the 4th Ward primary on Tuesday.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.