Petitions challenged in area ward races
by BRIAN NADIG
The ballot for the 45th Ward aldermanic election is set with four candidates after no nominating petition challenges were filed in the race, although objections were filed in several other Northwest Side races.
Running against incumbent Alderman John Arena will be Chicago police lieutenant John Garrido, former Beaubien School Local School Council member Michelle Baert and attorney Michael Diaz. Garrido, who lost by 30 votes to Arena in a 2011 runoff election, received the top spot on the ballot after the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners held a lottery to determine the positions on the ballot.
Several campaign representatives said that they examined their opponents’ petitions but decided that a challenge would be unsuccessful because each candidate had more than double the required minimum of 473 signatures. According to their campaigns, Baert submitted about 2,600 signatures, Garrido 2,300, Arena 1,800 and Diaz 1,200.
The Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association and Nadig Newspapers will hold a debate for the campaign at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Kobelinski Theater at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.
In the 39th Ward race, a challenge was filed claiming that Mary Hunter is about 200 signatures short of the required minimum. Hunter, who received about 24 percent of the vote in the last 39th Ward aldermanic race, survived a lengthy petition challenge in 2011 that she later said took time and resources away from her campaign.
The nominating petitions of Alderman Margaret Laurino, former Forest Glen Community Club president Robert Murphy and former college instructor Joe Laiacona were not challenged. Ward resident Carol Aguila, who has made political contributions to Laurino, filed the challenge against Hunter.
In the 41st Ward race, resident Joseph McGovern filed a petition challenge against candidate Anthony Napolitano, a Chicago firefighter. The challenge claims that every nominating sheet submitted by Napolitano should be invalidated due to a pattern of irregularities, including the names of people who do not live in the ward.
No objections were filed against the other candidates in the race, Alderman Mary O’Connor and hardware store owner Joe Lomanto.
In the 30th Ward race, petition challenges were filed against Walter Zarnecki and Edgar Esparza, while the other candidate, Alderman Ariel Reboyras, does not face a petition challenge.
Zarnecki, who also filed to run in the 35th Ward race, has since dropped out of the 30th Ward race. The challenge against the 18-year-old Esparza claims that his 138 pages of signature sheets violated election rules because the documents were not properly fastened in book form.
In the 33rd Ward race, challenges were filed against Tyler Solorio and Annisa Wanat, while the nominating papers of Tim Meegan and Alderman Deborah Mell, were not challenged. No challenges were filed against the three candidates in the 35th Ward race, Alderman Rey Colon, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and Zarnecki.
In the 36th Ward race, challenges were filed against the petitions of Christopher Vittorio and Joaquin Vazquez, while the candidacies of Omar Aquino, Gilbert Villegas and Alfonso Zaragoza were not challenged. 35th Ward Alderman Nicholas Sposato has moved to and is running in the 38th Ward, where Alderman Timothy Cullerton is retiring.
The candidates in the 38th Ward race whose petitions were challenged are Jerry Paszek, John Cianci, Michael Duda and Mike Keeney. The other candidates are Sposato, Heather Sattler, Carmen Hernandez, Belinda Cadiz and Tom Caravette, who to Cullerton in a runoff lost in 2011.
All of the challenges in the 38th Ward were filed by Janelle Rau-Clauson, who helped run president Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and who has been an assistant area director with the Service Employees International Union.
In the 40th Ward, Alderman Patrick O’Connor is facing a petition challenge, while the nominating papers of other candidate, Dianne Daleiden, were not challenged. In the 50th Ward, challenges were filed against Shajan Kuriakose, Hilaire Fuji Shioura, Zehra Quadri and Peter George Sifnotis, while no challenge was filed against Alderman Debra Silverstein.