ELECTION NEWS: Nine candidates -- in addition to the incumbent -- file in Chicago's mayor's race... Election to be held February 24, 2015.... contested aldermanic races in many of the city's 50 wards

As the deadline for filing nominating petitions to run for Mayor of Chicago was reached at 5:00 p.m. on November 24, 2014, nine candidates (in addition to the incumbent, Mayor Rahm Emanuel) had filed petitions. Each candidate filed at least the minimum number of signatures for the mayoral race (12,500). Before the final group is certain, however, the candidates will have to survive challenges to their petitions and signatures. All of the petitions were filed with the Board of Election Commissioners. The mayoral election will be held on February 24, 2015.

Second Ward alderman Bob Fioretti was the only mayoral candidate who spoke against CPS policies at the November 19, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education (above). Despite the fact that the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates has voted to support Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Garcia has never spoke in support of the city's public schools or the teachers at meetings of the school board. The fact that Garcia was once again absent from the tumultuous November 19 meeting came as no surprise to anyone who had followed Garcia's actual practices as a top aide to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinckle, whose expansions of the County bureaucracy and attacks on the nurses union at Cook County Hospital were widely know in union circles before a small group of CTU staffers ran the "Chuy" endorsement quickly through the union's leadership bodies with almost no time for reflection or debate, and often while utilizing misinformation to win their votes. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Candidates for alderman also filed their nominating petitions prior to the deadline, but Substance does not yet know how many of the wards are facing challenges. Prior to the deadline the Chicago Teachers Union had voted to support eight incumbent members of the City Council Progressive Caucus and four teachers who are running for alderman. Interviews with other candidates continue to take place as the CTU screens candidates.

The two leading challengers to the incumbent, , Mayor Rahm Emanuel, at least according to premature polling done in October and early November 2014, are Bob Fioretti and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. Fioretti's campaign said in a press release that they had filed nominating petitions with 55,000 signatures. Garcia's press statement said his campaign had filed nominating petitions with 60,000 signatures. No information was provided on how many signatures the other candidates for mayor filed.

A full debate is slowly unfolding among the 28,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union. During the brief time the endorsement of Garcia was pushed by some of the union's staff and leadership, most of the union's dues-paying teacher members were busy doing grades and Report Card Pickup. By the time work pressures had lessened, the deeds were done.

According to CBS News:

Nine Candidates File To Challenge Mayor Emanuel

(CBS) And then there were ninenine candidates who have filed petitions to challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel early next year.

Seven more challengers got in before Mondays 5 p.m. filing deadline. They joined two others who filed when Emanuel did last week, when the period opened.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the field is not as crowded as it was four years ago, when 20 initially filed. Emanuel got 55 percent of the vote then to avoid a run-off. This time, his opponents feel hes more vulnerable.

Here are the hopefuls, alphabetical order, who filed Monday:

Amara Enyia, a lawyer with a PhD in education.

Its been made very clear that the people are ready for substantial change. They want a different kind of leadership that speaking a different language that resonates with the people, she says.

Ward 2 Ald. Bob Fioretti, a longtime mayoral critic.

Emanuel, he says, hasnt listened to the concerns of the people.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus Chuy Garcia, who has been endorsed by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

I believe the city is not headed in the right direction. Weve heard from people all over the city of Chicago, and the fact that we submitted the highest number of nominating petitions underscores the change that people in the citys neighborhoods of Chicago would like the city to take, Garcia said.

Gerald Sconyers.

Robert Shaw, who served 22 years in the Chicago City Council under three separate mayors.

Nobody in their right mind would close up 50 schools at one time and not consult the people of the community. This guy did, Shaw says of Emanuel.

William Dock Walls, a previous mayoral candidate.

Willie Wilson, who rose from flipping burgers to running nine McDonalds franchises.

The city needs changes you know, economically, school problems, public safety you know those kinds of things, Wilson said.

Mayor Emanuel reacted to the new challengers.

I look at it as running for the citys future, not whether theyre running against me, he said.

Filing along with Emanuel last week were Frederick Collins, a Chicago police officer, and perennial candidate Fenton Patterson. If their petitions survive expected challenges, a lottery will determine who gets the first spot on the ballot.

The mayoral election is Feb. 24. If necessary, a runoff election with the top two vote-getters would be held April 7.


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