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posted: 2/4/2010 12:01 AM

Primary over, water district hopefuls face November race

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The three winners in the Democratic primary for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner have a new challenge - five rivals in the general election this November.

The leaders in the nine-person race were incumbents Mariyana Spyropoulos with 179,296 votes and Barbara McGowan with 178,272 plus newcomer Michael Alvarez who garnered 156,800. Results are still unofficial.

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They will face Republicans Paul Chialdikas and Jimmy Lee Tillman II and Green Party candidates Nadine Bopp, Diana Horton and Jack Ailey on Nov. 2.

Those who win one of the three commissioner spots will receive a $70,000 salary plus use of a district car and will have two staff members.

Trailing Tuesday's primary winners in descending order of vote totals were Democrats Kari Steele, Todd Connor, Maureen Kelly, Kathleen Mary O'Reilley, Wallace Davis III and Stella Black.

Spyropoulos is a Chicago attorney and former prosecutor appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to the board in 2009.

McGowan is a former water district employee from Chicago who was first elected as commissioner in 1998.

Alvarez is a Chicago public affairs consultant who was an adviser to President Obama when he was a senator.

Commissioners have oversight of Cook County stormwater management and flood prevention, water quality, protecting the Lake Michigan water supply, collection of wastewater, and discharge of treated water.

One key suburban issue the eight candidates will face in the fall is a proposed stormwater management ordinance, which has been criticized by municipalities for being too Draconian. Another concern is progress on building Levee 37, a flood-control wall along the west bank of the Des Plaines River in Mount Prospect and Wheeling.

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