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Many of the aldermanic races are getting nastier, and none more so than that in the 35th Ward. Among the latest dirty tricks is an anonymous full-color mailing apparently sent to every registered voter in the ward that accuses incumbent alderman Rey Colon of a long court and criminal history, ranging from a legal dispute over payment of a gas bill to drug possession charges.
My quick check of court records confirms that people named Rey and Reynaldo Colon were involved in some of the cases cited, but it’s not clear they were the same person in each instance. Alderman Colon says they weren’t and condemns the mailing as a libelous attack on his character and reputation.
He acknowledges that he owed some money in the early 90s to cover a fee for automatic child support deductions from his paycheck. And he says that for a few months in 1995 he was involved in a legal tangle over payment of a gas bill for an apartment he shared with a couple of other roommates. He says when he was a YMCA and Boys and Girls Club leader before becoming alderman he went through repeated background checks and drug testing.
Whoever is behind the mailing spent some time and money getting it out—Colon estimates that the first-class mail fees alone would have cost $9,000.
But Colon says since it started landing in mailboxes earlier this week his campaign has received dozens of calls from voters pledging support and offering to help the campaign. Still, going door to door he’s explain the allegations repeatedly, and he sounds frustrated: “It’s kind of like covering your face and taking a beating.”