Chicago’s mayoral election kicks into high gear, and while many candidates vie for the opportunity to appear at the top of the ballot, the incumbent mayor takes a different approach.
Candidates interested in running for mayor must register at least 12,500 signatures from registered voters in the city, and the first day to submit those petitions arrives on Monday.
Candidates who submit their signatures on day one are entered into a lottery to top the ballot, historically an election advancement, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot will instead submit her petitions on the last possible day.
“We will file the case on November 28,” she said. “There is nothing magical, but we will wait until the 28the file, the last day to file, as we did four years ago.
Under Chicago law, candidates who file on the final day are entered into a lottery for last place on the ballot, which could make them stand out in what is sure to be a crowded field.
As to why Lightfoot is waiting, there are several schools of thought, with naysayers suggesting she needs more time to collect signatures, or that she wishes there was less time for those signatures to be submitted. subject to scrutiny, with candidates able to file challenges. petitions filed for municipal elections.
Although she won’t win the race to file her petitions first, Lightfoot won another key race on Wednesday, becoming the first candidate to air television ads in the Chicago area.
Lightfoot, who has faced criticism on a variety of fronts, is seeking a second term, building on his performance during the COVID pandemic and pushing for greater economic equality in the city.
Dr. Willie Wilson says he has more than 60,000 signatures, five times the number required, and will be filing those petitions on Monday. Aldus. Sophia King says she will do the same.
“We want to show that we have support across the city, that people are encouraged by our platform and are encouraged to get on the ballot,” she said.
Mate Ald. Roderick Sawyer says his team is still checking signatures and he probably won’t file Monday.
“We’ll see where we are,” he said. “We’ll look into it, we still have a lot of volunteers checking our petitions, and we still have signatures coming in.”
Paul Vallas, the former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, says his campaign will closely assess petitions from other candidates and that challenges to those signatures are possible.
“They (my team) will decide whether or not we challenge some of the candidates, and I defer to their good judgment,” he said.
If a candidate files a challenge to another opponent’s signatures, or if a third party files a challenge, then that challenge would be submitted to the Chicago Board of Elections for evaluation. If enough signatures are disqualified, a potential candidate could be removed from the ballot, which is why candidates often get many more signatures than they need.
It is a tradition in Chicago for candidates to file challenges. In 2019, Cook County Council Chairwoman Toni Preckwinkle challenged at least five of her rivals, as did Wilson. Vallas has filed motions against two rivals, including the former Chicago police superintendent. Garry McCarthy.
Even as candidates prepare to file petitions, at least one other candidate may still enter the race. Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will announce his campaign intentions on Thursday, pondering whether he should fight his way through an election that already has nearly a dozen declared candidates.
Illinois Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García made a late entry into the race last week after winning re-election to Congress, hoping to eventually win the job after finishing second in 2015.