Meet the candidates: City Council, 20th Ward

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Willie B. Cochran


Willie B. Cochran is the incumbent alderman of Chicago’s 20th Ward. He’s been on City Council since 2007, and he was elected Ward committeeman in 2008. Before that, he was a community organizer in Woodlawn and Washington Park. Cochran also served as a Chicago Police officer for 26 years, and he operated a family business in Woodlawn for 14 years. He obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Joliet Junior College in 1973, and in 1975 he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University. He later earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1988, and pursued post-graduate studies at Northwestern University in Public Safety Administration.

Willie Ray Jr.


Willie Ray is a lifelong resident of the 20th Ward. He is a community advocate and organizer with a 40-year medical career. Ray has served on school boards and economic committees. His focus is on stopping crime, creating jobs, dealing with foreclosures, and expanding educational opportunities for youths.


Andre Smith


Andre Smith is an entrepreneur and Baptist minister who grew up in the Robert Taylor Public Housing Development in Chicago. He believes in the importance of education and small business. His campaign also emphasizes immigration rights and the fight against gun violence.

Kevin Bailey


Kevin Bailey is a civil engineer who has managed various portions of the Metra system in Chicago while working for Union Pacific. The Chicago native says he wants to change the status quo by addressing the issues of education, public safety, community development and public health. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a civil engineering degree.


Ernest Radcliffe Jr.


Ernest Radcliffe is the coach of the Morgan Park High School varsity boys baseball team, and he’s also a Cubs RBI coach. Radcliffe formerly played in the National Baseball League. Over 17 years, he estimates he’s coached and mentored more than 36,000 youth in the 20th Ward. He says he wants to do more to create change in the community.

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