From James Ewert in the 41st Ward: 

 State rep Mike McAuliffe, Republican committeeman of the 41st Ward, seems to think his Democratic counterpart, Ralph Capparelli, is in Arizona this election day. At least that’s what McAuliffe told me standing outside a 41st Ward polling place this morning.

The 41st Ward Democratic Organization office was closed, and no one answered the phone. The office secretary for the other area Democratic rep, James DeLeo (who gave $3,675 to the Republican incumbent alderman Brian Doherty in 2007 alone), said she wasn’t sure if DeLeo was in or not. It doesn’t look like Doherty’s Democratic challenger, Michael Hannon, has drawn much support.

Meanwhile McAuliffe, the Republican committeeman, donated $10,000 to Doherty’s campaign. He said he’d been outside the polling place at 6566 N. Avondale since 5 AM and planned on being there until the end. Capparelli, who wrote himself a check for more than $400,00 out of his old state campaign last June, only managed to contribute $500 to Hannon’s campaign. At least he put up a Hannon sign in his front lawn.

What makes the 41st even a little more interesting is that there seemed to be quite a few Chicago police officers taking the day off to volunteer for Don Markham, a CPD veteran. One in particular was a short, stocky cop from the west side who only wanted to be known as Russell. Russell said he voted for Doherty in 2003, but the alderman’s votes for the big-box ordinance and the smoking ban were enough to turn him and many of his friends against the incumbent. The twist: Russell confessed to being a Bush-voting Republican. So is Markham? Russell said he didn’t know. But he also made sure to note that if Markham doesn’t win this year, he, Russell, plans on running next time around as well.