Former Chicago Ald. Michele Smith’s successor is Timmy Knudsen

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has named Timmy Knudsen, chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, as alderman for the 43rd Ward.

If approved by City Council, which is expected to vote on the nomination this week, Knudsen would replace Ald. Michele Smith. The neighborhood, which includes most of Lincoln Park, has been without a councilman since August, when Smith unexpectedly retired.

Knudsen is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law who worked for law firm Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres on venture capital and cryptocurrency matters before taking time off to pursue the position. . Knudsen is a longtime Lightfoot supporter and donated to her campaign in 2019.

“Timmy Knudsen has distinguished himself as an outstanding leader in the 43rd Ward community,” Lightfoot said in a Monday statement confirming the nomination. “His passion for connecting with his neighbors and fostering hope, energy and opportunity for the residents of Chicago places him in a unique position to serve as Alderman. Timmy is deeply connected to the needs of 43rd Precinct residents and has the skills to communicate effectively, draw on the expertise of trusted egoless messengers, and encourage civic engagement.

The statement said that in addition to providing legal advice to startups and investors, Knudsen founded a pro bono program at his company, which represents LGBTQ asylum seekers in Chicago and Tijuana, Mexico.

“As I have done throughout my legal career, my public service chairing the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, and my time as a grassroots organizer, I will be an advocate and consensus builder as an alderman. . I bring a passion for private sector results to public service and am honored to have a new way to give back to the community I call home,” Knudsen said in the release.

If that’s not a household name, Knudsen might be a familiar face: He was featured on the TV show “House Hunters” while renovating his Lincoln Park condo in 2018.

“People I work with in local politics have definitely seen the episode, especially here because they see it’s a Chicago episode and they’ll want to watch it,” he told the Tribune in 2020. He also applied to appear. on the competitive reality show “The Amazing Race,” but that the producers went in a different direction.

Smith was in his third term and joins more than a dozen board members who have left or are not seeking re-election next year. Knudsen, if confirmed, would serve the remainder of Smith’s term but would have to run for re-election in February to retain the seat.

It would be Lightfoot’s third alderman appointment in six months.

In June, Lightfoot selected the outgoing 24th Ward Ald. Michael Scott’s sister, Monique Scott, to replace him out of 18 other candidates.

Michael Scott quit city council to take a job in the private sector at the Cinespace film studio. Soon after, he became Lightfoot’s choice for a seat on the Chicago Board of Education. The Scotts’ father, Michael Scott Sr., was Mayor Richard M. Daley’s cable commissioner and later chairman of the Park District Council and the Chicago School Board.

In March, the mayor selected Nicole Lee, a United Airlines executive, to serve as alderman for the 11th Ward. Lee, the first Asian American woman to serve on the Chicago City Council, replaced Patrick Daley Thompson after he was convicted of tax evasion in February and lying to banking regulators. Lee’s father is Gene Lee, a former assistant to Daley.

Former mayors have had their share of politically connected and family-related nominations: Rahm Emanuel nominated Deb Mell to succeed his father, Dick Mell, as alderman for the 33rd Ward in 2013. Mayor Richard Mr Daley has appointed Carrie Austin as her husband. , Lemuel Austin, served as Alderman for the 34th District and also appointed Margaret Laurino to succeed her father, Anthony, as Alderman for the 39th District.

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