Filing period for aldermanic petitions starts; three file for 45th Ward race and at least one more candidate is expected


The first day of filing nominating petitions for Feb. 24 aldermanic races saw three candidates file in the 45th Ward, three in the 41st Ward, two in the 39th Ward and five in the 38th Ward.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners began accepting petitions at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 17 and will continue to accept them through Monday, Nov. 24. Those first in line on Nov. 17 will have their name placed first on the ballot, and a lottery will be held for those races in which two or more candidates were in line by 9 a.m.

Challenges to nominating papers, including statements of candidacy, can be filed through Wed., Dec. 3. In addition to trying knocking an opponent off a ballot, candidates often rely on a challenge to force their foes to spend time and money fighting a challenge, which can result in an election board decision being appealed in court.

Incumbent Alderman John Arena, Chicago police lieutenant John Garrido and “45th Ward Mom” Web site creator Michelle Baert have filed for the 45th Ward race. Garrido lost to Arena by 30 votes in a runoff election in 2011.

Arena is in his first term as alderman and previously was vice president of the Portage Park Neighborhood Association. Garrido is a community member of the Hitch School Local School Council, and Baert has served on the Beaubien School Local School Council.

Also expected to file is attorney Michael Diaz, whose campaign is being run by a consulting firm with closes ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arena is a member of the City Council’s progressive caucus, whose members are being targeted by a political action committee that reportedly was started with the blessing of Emanuel.

Arena, Garrido and Baert began collecting signatures about 8 weeks ago, but Diaz did not launch his campaign until two weeks ago and reportedly is using paid workers to collect signatures. Candidates are required to have a minimum of 473 valid signatures in order to have their name on the ballot.

In the 41st Ward, Incumbent Alderman Mary O’Connor is being challenged by Ace Hardware store owner Joe Lomanto and Chicago firefighter Anthony Napolitano. In the 39th Ward, former Forest Glen Community Club president Robert Murphy has filed to run against Incumbent Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th), while Molly Hunter, who ran in 2011, and Joe Laiacona have announced their candidacies but have not filed their petitions.

In the 38th Ward, Alderman Timothy Cullerton is retiring, and five candidates have filed to fill his seat. They are 100 Club of Chicago chief operating officer Heather Sattler, real estate agent Tom Caravette, 36th Ward Alderman Nicholas Sposato, Dunning resident John Cianci and Cook County Forest Preserve District police sergeant Jerry Paszek.

In 2011, Caravette lost in a runoff election to Cullerton, while Sposato decided to switch wards for the 2015 race after a ward remapping greatly altered the boundaries of the 36th Ward. Sattler’s mother, Rita Sattler, served as chief of staff to Cullerton and former alderman Thomas Allen.

On Monday, no challengers filed to unseat Alderman Ariel Reboyras (30th) and Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th). Alderman Rey Colon (35th) is facing a challenge from former congressional caseworker Carlos Ramirez-Rosa.

In the February races, if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters will compete in a runoff election on April 7.