• Michael R. Schmidt/Sun-Times Media
  • Alderman Deb Mell occupies the seat formerly occupied by Alderman Richard Mell.

The latest member of the Chicago City Council didn’t come out of nowhere.

Five years ago I overheard veteran Alderman Richard Mell explaining to a colleague how he cleared the field to get his daughter Deb elected to the Illinois House.

“I thought I’d help her get started,” he said in the lounge behind City Council chambers, well within earshot of myself and several other reporters. “After this she’ll be on her own.”

In a manner of speaking, of course.