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21 candidates file to run for mayor

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller


According to a preliminary list compiled by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, 21 candidates filed to run for mayor for the upcoming election on Feb. 26 (a runoff between the top two vote-getters is set for April 2):

    Willie Wilson
    Toni Preckwinkle
    Paul Vallas
    Jerry Joyce
    Catherine Brown D’Tycoon
    Conrien Hykes Clark
    William M. Daley
    Garry McCarthy
    Dorothy Brown
    Gery Chico
    Sandra Mallory
    Susana Mendoza
    Amara Enyia
    La Shawn Ford
    Neal Sales-Griffin
    Lori Lightfoot
    John Kozlar
    Bob Fioretti
    Ja’Mal Green
    Roger Washington
    Richard Mayers

The full list of all city candidates is here.

* Tribune

Candidates will spend the next month or more trying to knock others out of the race. They will cite charges ranging from forgery and fraud to more minor technicalities to argue their competitors didn’t collect the necessary number of signatures from registered Chicago voters to appear on the ballot.

That process, argued by attorneys before city election officials, is certain to narrow the final list of candidates put before voters. By how much remains to be seen. […]

Chico, Lightfoot, Joyce and Brown all stressed they had checked their signatures carefully and were confident they had enough valid ones to weather any attempts to get them booted from the ballot. Mendoza only submitting a little more than twice the required amount raised some eyebrows around City Hall, given her status as a statewide officeholder and an establishment Democrat.

Mendoza sought to downplay the number of signatures she filed, saying they only had been collected in the last three weeks since she announced her mayoral bid after winning re-election as comptroller. A “draft” movement, however, began collecting signatures for Mendoza in early September, and her campaign later confirmed that her nominating petitions included those signatures collected over the last three months.

* Important point from Greg Hinz

Qualified signatures can come only from registered Chicago voters. Perhaps even more important this year, only the first signature will count for those who signed petitions for multiple candidates. Squabbling over which signature came “first” and related matters is likely to generate much legal jockeying, noted political consultant Tom Bowen. “It is a hell of a mess to knock someone off the ballot in this environment,” he said.

* Context

When the week-long filing period closed Monday, 21 candidates had submitted petitions for the mayoral race. That’s one more than eight years ago — the last time the mayor’s office was up for grabs. In that race, to succeed retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley, 20 men and women had filed for mayor at the close of the filing period. But only six wound up on the ballot after challenges and candidate withdrawals.

* Impressive if true

Former City official and Community Activist Amara Enyia has run for mayor before; she said she’s learned a lot since then and is ready to make her voice heard among several contenders. She filed 62,000 signatures, no doubt in part because of Chance the Rapper and Kanye West’s help in supporting her campaign.

“We have done a good job of organizing across the city so it is not just me as a candidate but it is the people of this city,” Enyia said.

* Meanwhile

Mayoral candidate Gery Chico on Monday took the gloves off and pummeled the only other Hispanic candidate in the race: state Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Chico charged that Mendoza proved herself “unfit for the job or the responsibilities that come with being the mayor of Chicago” because she “can’t even decide which job she wants” and proved it again by being evasive and duplicitous.

In a statement released by his campaign just as Mendoza was filing her nominating petitions, Chico pointed to Mendoza’s refusal to say whether she would remove or retain Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. […]

“Susana has played political games by refusing to come clean with voters about running for mayor, and now that she’s openly running for mayor she refuses to come clean with voters on where she stands on important issues. She can’t be trusted to be the strong leader Chicagoans can count on,” Chico said.


  1. - Christopher - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    Bob Fioretti should show a little humility and not bother to be one of the 21 candidates for Mayor.

  2. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    D’Tycoon? Is she related to Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons?

    Will all 21 candidates (assuming none get knocked off the ballot) participate in a debate?

    Good luck to my guy Willie Wilson!

  3. - lakeside - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    I’m exhausted.

  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    A bunch of nobodies, a few has-beens, some never-will-bes and a couple of re-treads.

    Has anyone checked in with Rahm to ask him if his successor is in the field yet?

  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    This election might be the strongest argument in favor of ranked choice voting. The top 2 could potentially both have less than 20% of the vote and still get in the run off

  6. - Montrose - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    The more crowded the field, the better it is for Daley. He should pay for lawyers to help the second tier candidates stay on the ballot.

  7. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    It’s high time the law was changed to allow any citizen who lives in a voting district to sign any candidates petition. They should be able to sign for one or all. It is only supporting their right to run. This is just another way the political machines try and control who runs.

  8. - A guy - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    They’ll cut this list in half. It’ll be half of 21. That’s only possible in Chicago.

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    D’Tycoon? Related to Count D’Money?

  10. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    Isaac Count De Money Wilson once ran for Alderman in Aurora, kind of bummed he isn’t running for mayor of Chicago.

  11. - Rutro - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    So how many signatures in total were filed? 400k?
    there’s some good software out there that can id duplicates. My bet is between duplicates and phonies, there’s less than five in the race.

  12. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    Mendoza and Dorothy Brown turned in the least of the major candidates - about 25,000 each. They might be vulnerable

  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    Roughly ~27% will get ya in the “playoffs”?

    The question for me is will the final number be in the “teens” or not.

  14. - Huh? - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Food fight (deleted punctuation)

  15. - cannon649 - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    someone should check who MJM is backing

  16. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Fioretti must like collecting autographs, because he sure doesn’t do much as a campaigner. He could have had a good shot at President Soda Tax, but except for political junkies no one even knew he was running. Maybe he should specialize in sports figures, I hear there’s good money in those signatures.

  17. - Steve - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    It is good that so many candidates want to be Mayor.

  18. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    From Shia Kappos of Politico:

    Among those 21 candidates for mayor is Conrein Hykes Clark, an 87-year-old volunteer at Haines Elementary School in Chinatown. She works with the third-graders.

    “I don’t know much about politics. But I think I could be a good mayor,” the South Side resident told POLITICO. “I’m dependable. I work hard. And I’m careful with money. I’m not extravagant. I’m a simple person. I’m a decent person who treats people the way they want to be treated.” In her lifetime, she’s worked in a range of industries: restaurant, liquor store, dry-cleaners and dress-making—she cut the ragged edges off fabric. What she doesn’t know about being mayor, Clark says she’d learn from outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “He’s been a good mayor and could teach me.” Though she “worked hard” to get signatures and papers all in order for her mayoral application, Clark says she didn’t come close to the 12,500 signatures needed to stay on the ballot. “I just wanted to get out there.”

    Will any candidate try and knock off this 87 year old woman? I can’t imagine she does any harm to the other candidates, but the press of knocking off a little ‘ol lady would likely be worse.

  19. - lakeside - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    “This election might be the strongest argument in favor of ranked choice voting.”

    Please rank the candidates from “absolutely unacceptable” to “sigh, I guess I can… live with this.”

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 11:38 am:


  21. - ZC - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    Ranked-choice for 21 candidates is a nightmare, but there’s a case to be made for “approval voting”: pick all the candidates for Mayor on the list you can live with, and the top two vote-getters still advance on to square off. Let’s see how it works in Fargo!

  22. - Fav Human - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    “Will any candidate try and knock off this 87 year old woman?”

    Lots of them will. Some are clever enough to leave no fingerprints…

  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Hm, some names seems to be missing. Where is ChicagoPartAunt? Just because some petitions were submitted on bar napkins shouldn’t mean they’re invalid.

  24. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    Frankly the Chicago Board of Elections should be the one to knock off the 87 year old woman. If she didn’t even file the minimum 12.5k signatures then it should fail an apparent conformity review. But who knows if they even do that, so I’m sure someone will object.

  25. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    === Frankly the Chicago Board of Elections should be the one to knock off the 87 year old woman. If she didn’t even file the minimum 12.5k signatures then it should fail an apparent conformity review. But who knows if they even do that, so I’m sure someone will object. ===

    Election Boards don’t (and probably shouldn’t) disqualify candidates on their own — they only consider formal objections.

  26. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    From the IL State Board candidates guide:

    Important Notice: Effective with the 2018 primary election and continuing thereafter, the State Board of Elections will implement a limited “apparent conformity” review of all nominating petitions filed with it. The review will take place after a petition is filed, and will be limited to determining the following: (1) whether a signed Statement of Candidacy has been filed, and (2) whether the filed nominating sheets contain gross signatures equal to or exceeding 10% of the minimum number of signatures required for the office sought.
    All candidates whose petitions fail the apparent conformity review will be notified in writing and given the opportunity to appear before the State Board of Elections at its first meeting held to call petition objection cases, before a determination is made to reject the candidate’s petition on the basis of non-conformity.

    That being said, that is the the state board of elections and not the Chicago board of elections so who knows if they do the same thing.

  27. - Michael Westen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    Knocking off an unqualified candidate, whether she is 87 or 27 will not cause any lasting damage to the person that knocks her off. It is inside baseball that voters don’t care about, and if that’s the most important criticism someone has of one of these candidates, the candidate would be in good shape.

  28. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    On the opening day of filing Kasper and Odelson gave a decent look at what it’ll take to get people knocked off the ballot with this many people running.

  29. - ZC - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 5:34 pm:

    What I want to know, is there going to be the “main candidates” debate stage and then the “desperately trying to get into the main debate” setup, a la the 2016 GOP primary? Because 21 people behind podiums is going to be silly.

  30. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 9:53 pm:

    –Will any candidate try and knock off this 87 year old woman? –

    No. No one’s that thick.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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