Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Down to 21; how few candidates will remain by the time it is all over

The “it” is the process by which we put together the ballot of candidates who we’ll get to choose from come Feb. 26 for who gets to succeed Rahm Emanuel as mayor of the city of Chicago.
Whose face will fill the blank come May inauguration?

Much attention was paid the past week to the candidates who actually came forth with nominating petitions seeking a spot on the mayoral ballot.

THERE ONCE WAS a time when some 40 or so people were talking about running for mayor. The Monday deadline for filing nominating petitions came and went with 21 people actually taking the step forward.

Yet in all honesty, I’ll be shocked if more than a half-dozen of them actually make it all the way to Election Day.

There are bound to be candidates who come to the realization before then that their mayoral aspirations are pure fantasy. Then there also will be those who will wind up feeling crushed – as though the “gods” of politics are conspiring against them to keep us from casting a vote for them.

I don’t doubt that every single one of the 21 who filed nominating petitions is convinced that they’re the only logical choice for mayor, and that everybody else would be doing themselves and the public at-large a whole lot of good if they’d only drop out.
MENDOZA: Could she fall short of backers?

THE PART OF the political process we’re now entering is the “challenges.” As in having their supporters file objections to their opponents – contending they didn’t meet the bare minimum requirement of 12,500 valid signatures of support for their candidacy from Chicago residents who happen to be registered to vote.

The fear of getting knocked off is what causes candidates to go overboard and come up with so many more signatures than necessary. Because invariably, somebody is going to get a signature from a suburban resident who just happened to be in the city at the time a campaign worker got their autograph.

Either that, or someone is going to think it incredibly funny to sign themselves as “Mickey Mouse” or “Donald Trump” or some other nonsense name. Which taints the nominating petition as a whole!
ENYIA: Kicked off ballot just for kicks?

Candidates now are looking for ways to kick their opponents off the ballot so as to boost their own chances of achieving political victory and being the one who takes the oath of office for mayor come May.

I WON’T BE surprised if candidate Amara Enyia winds up finding herself spending significant amounts of time fighting off a challenge. She’s the candidate who has gotten attention and money from rap music entertainers, and who claims she has more than 62,000 signatures of support.

Which actually is just more than the 60,000 or so that Toni Preckwinkle gathered for her mayoral bid.

I don’t doubt that the political geeks who specialize in this type of duty would love the chance to show that Enyia’s signatures are so tainted that she deserves to be booted from the ballot.

Even if she does remain through to Election Day, she could wind up spending her time with attorneys her campaign really can’t afford trying to justify her political existence. Which is actually a common tactic for dealing with fringe candidates who might have something serious to say. Neutralize them into oblivion!!!

I’M GOING TO be interesting in seeing how the candidacy of Susana Mendoza turns out. Because she started gathering mayoral petition signatures so late (she had to spend time getting re-elected as Illinois comptroller first), she only submitted some 25,000.
How many petitions do you figure he signed?

Could the same political geeks who pick apart Enyia wind up knocking off enough of Mendoza’s supporters to make her ineligible to run for mayor? Thereby reducing the number of legitimate mayoral candidates on the ballot.

Because the reality is the “law” with regards to ballot access is vague as to what exactly an invalid signature is. Basically, it is whatever the challenger says it is, and it becomes up to the would-be candidate to prove they didn’t do something wrong.

Definitely a process intended to weed out the no-names and bring us down to a manageable number of candidates from whom to vote – even if the end result is that we wind up with the same old names on the ballot every single election cycle.


EDITOR’S NOTE: For now, the ballot (in alphabetical order) includes Catherine Brown D’Tycoon, Dorothy Brown, Gery Chico, William Daley, Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti, LaShawn Ford, Ja’Mal Green, Conrien Hykes Clark, Jerry Joyce, John Kozlar, Lori Lightfoot, Sandra Mallory, Richard Mayers, Garry McCarthy, Susana Mendoza, Toni Preckwinkle, Neal Sales-Griffin, Paul Vallas, Roger Washington and Willie Wilson.

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