Large fields featured in area aldermanic races


The first day that nominating petitions for Feb. 24 aldermanic races could be filed 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 period for filing petitions with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners runs from Nov. 17 through 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 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 Dec. 3. In addition to attempting to have an opponent removed from the ballot, candidates also used challenges to force foes to spend time and money fighting a challenge, which can result in an election board decision being appealed in court.

Alderman John Arena, Chicago police lieutenant John Garrido and area resident Michelle Baert have filed for the 45th Ward race. Garrido lost to Arena by 30 votes in a runoff election in 2011.

Arena, who is in his first term as alderman, previously was the 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 ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arena is a member of the City Council’s “Progressive Caucus,” which includes aldermen who 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 begin the process until two weeks ago, and he reportedly is using paid workers to collect signatures. Candidates are required to have a minimum of 473 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

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

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

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

No one filed Monday to run against Alderman Ariel Reboyras (30th) or Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th). Alderman Rey Colon (35th) is facing a challenge from former congressional caseworker Carlos Ramirez-Rosa.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the Feb. 24 municipal election, the top two vote getters will compete in a runoff election on April 7.