Antonio Munoz

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Antonio Munoz

b. February 18, 1964

Illinois, State Senator (1998-)
Chicago, 12th Ward Democratic Committeeman (2004-)
Illinois, 4th Congressional District Democratic Committeeman (2002-)

Tony Munoz was a police officer and precinct worker for Victor Reyes' Hispanic Democratic Organization (HDO) in 1997, and then he was recruited to run for State Senate against independent (and anti-Mayor Richard M. Daley) incumbent State Senator Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in 1998. The campaign was another round in the continuing battle between pro-Daley and anti-Daley Chicago Latino politicians. HDO, an army of pro-Daley city and Cook County workers coordinated by Reyes, would hit the streets every election. In 1998, hundreds of HDO workers showed up on election day for Munoz and carried the day.

Since then, Munoz has been an unabashed and aggressive banner carrier for HDO and a close ally of Victor Reyes, Mayor Daley and HDO lieutenant, Al Sanchez. Until recently, with each election Munoz has advanced up the political ladder, working for Daley in the Senate, and helping his friends along the way.

Munoz' support of his friends has gotten him into trouble along the way. Munoz was investigated as part of the federal Hired Truck Investigation, and his protege, Angelo Torres, whom he allegedly recommended to direct the city hired truck program, pled guilty to taking kick-backs from trucking companies [1] - and allegedly directed hired truck contractors to contribute to Munoz' campaign [2].

Soon after Munoz' election, Chicago Latino legislators recognized that knocking each other out of the General Assembly was hurting overall Latino influence in state government. An electoral truce was negotiated between Munoz and independent leader, then-Senator Miguel Del Valle, and the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus was created in 1999. One of the chief rules of the Latino Caucus was that fellow Caucus members would not oppose each other in elections. Del Valle, the senior-most member of the Latino Caucus, was then named Assistant Senate Majority Leader by then-Senate President Emil Jones.

The Caucus, which kept most in-fighting behind closed doors, spun out of control in 2007 when Del Valle left the Senate to become Chicago City Clerk, and Munoz vied for the Assistant Senate Majority Leader position. President Jones decided to name his close ally (and one-time HDO candidate) Iris Martinez to the position instead, creating a schism in the Latino Caucus. Munoz supported fellow Latino Caucus member, Rep. Rick Bradley against Sen. Iris Martinez in the 2008 Democratic Primary. Martinez won, and Munoz' rising star stopped going up.

Munoz is closely allied with 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas and State Rep. Eddie Acevedo, both former HDO leaders.

Employment and Electoral History

After serving in U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division, Munoz returned to his hometown and got a job with the Chicago police department. Then, as a 12th Ward precinct worker he was recruited to run for State Senate against independent (and anti-Daley) Jesus Garcia in 1998. After winning election, Officer Munoz was assigned on temporary duty to the Chicago City Legal Department, and has rotated through city positions including License Commission, Local Liquor Control Section, Dept. of Aviation and the Mayor's Office of Budget & Management.

Education

  • Good Shepherd Grammar School
  • Quigley South High School

Important Political Events

  • 1998, Elected 1st District State Senator, defeating incumbent Jesus "Chuy" Garcia
  • 2002, Reelected 1st District State Senator, unopposed
  • 2006, Reelected 1st District State Senator, defeating Ray Frias

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Munoz_%28politician%29
http://www.ilcampaign.org/press/news/illinois/2005/2005-2-4TorresDeal.html
http://illinoisissues.uis.edu/features/2004may/latino.html
http://www.russstewart.com/12-28-05.htm
http://www.russstewart.com/1-12-05.htm
http://www.ilcampaign.org/press/news/illinois/2006/9-1-06FedZHDO.html
http://www.ilcampaign.org/press/news/illinois/2005/2005-2-8LegsAid.html
http://www.chicagoreporter.com/index.php/c/Web_Extras/d/The_color_of_clout
http://www.suntimes.com/news/hired/113253,cst-nws-hired12.article
http://www.suntimes.com/news/hired/113327,cst-nws-brown27.article
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0508260254aug26,0,1070330.story