The Tribune Editorial Board continues endorsements in contested races for aldermanic seats in Chicago’s Feb. 26 municipal election.

12th Ward: When a Tribune reporter asked Ald. George Cardenas his reaction to news that his pal Ald. Danny Solis had recorded City Hall conversations, Cardenas might have applauded federal efforts to quash the council’s culture of corruption. Instead, Cardenas said: “Geez. I mean, what is the world coming to? … It’s pretty upsetting … I feel disappointed.” Which is how many of Cardenas’ constituents in this Near Southwest Side ward feel about their hard-to-reach alderman, a leftover from the patronage-peddling, now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization. Remember the Tribune’s disclosure that Cardenas had put his father on the payroll and rented his ward office in a building he and his relatives owned? We hope voters instead elect Jose Rico, a senior vice president at United Way of Metro Chicago. As a teacher at Latino Youth Alternative High School, he focused on gangbangers others had written off; as the father of a child with cerebral palsy, he worked to improve school building accessibility. He also served on an Obama White House panel to improve Latino high school graduation rates nationwide. Rico abhors the human cost of Chicago’s gun violence, but also appreciates how it cuts home values, entrenches housing segregation, drives people out of the city, and consumes public resources better spent on education, behavioral health and job creation. Rico is endorsed.