Election board rules on challenges to petitions
by BRIAN NADIG
The Feb. 24 ballot for the 41st Ward aldermanic election is set with three candidates after one of them survived a challenge to his nominating petitions, while the 39th Ward race has been reduced from four candidates to three.
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners recently ruled that Chicago firefighter Anthony Napolitano submitted a sufficient number of signatures on his nominating petitions and can remain on the ballot. Napolitano and Ace Hardware Store owner Joe Lomanto are challenging incumbent 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor.
An election board hearing officer ruled that Napolitano submitted 1,145 signatures and that 814 were valid. The minimum number of signatures needed to get on the ballot is 473.
In the 39th Ward, the election board has removed Mary Hunter from the ballot after a hearing officer ruled that she submitted only 268 valid signatures. Hunter received 24 percent of the vote in the 2011 aldermanic election in the ward.
At issue was whether the minimum number of signatures should be 204, which represents 4 percent of the number of voters in the ward’s aldermanic race in 2011, or 473, which represents 4 percent of the number of votes cast citywide for the mayoral race divided by 50 wards.
According to the election board, state law requires that the mayoral total be used in ward elections following redistricting, which occurred 3 years ago, while in other elections the ward total from the previous election should be used in determining the number of minimum signatures. Hunter had argued that use of the mayoral figure in an aldermanic race creates an unfair burden on candidates and denies them their constitutional right to participate in government.
The removal of Hunter from the ballot leaves former Forest Glen Community Club president Robert Murphy and former college instructor Joe Laiacona to challenge Alderman Margaret Laurino.
The Edgebrook Community Association will hold a forum for the candidates in the 39th and 41st wards at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Edgebrook Library, 5331 W. Devon Ave. One of the main issues in both races is expected to be jet noise over area homes following the recent reconfiguration of runways at O’Hare Airport.
In addition, the Indian Woods Community Association will hold a 39th Ward forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at Elston Avenue United Methodist Church, 5850 N. Elston Ave.
In the 38th Ward, John Cianci and Mike Keeney have been removed from the ballot, while the election board is scheduled to decide this week on a challenge to the nomination of Michael Duda.
The candidates who are on the ballot are Jerry Paszek, Tom Caravette, Heather Sattler, Carmen Hernandez, Belinda Cadiz and 36th Ward Alderman Nicholas Sposato, who has moved to the 38th Ward. Alderman Timothy Cullerton is not seeking re-election.
The candidates in the 36th Ward are Christopher Vittorio, Omar Aquino, Gilbert Villegas and Alonso Zaragoza. Joaquin Vazquez has been removed from the ballot.
The Portage Park Chamber of Commerce, the Friends of Portage Park and the Northwest Side Housing Center will hold a 38th Ward candidate forum at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at Saint Patrick High School, 5900 W. Belmont Ave. Those organizations also will hold a 36th Ward forum at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Steinmetz High school, 3030 N. Mobile Ave.
The Portage Park Neighborhood Association will hold a 38th Ward forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Saint Pascal School, 6143 W. Irving Park Road.
No petition challenges were filed in the 45th Ward race, leaving Alderman John Arena, Chicago police lieutenant John Garrido, former Beaubien School Local School Council member Michelle Baert and attorney Michael Diaz on the ballot.
The Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association and Nadig Newspapers will hold a 45th Ward aldermanic forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., while the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce is planning to hold a 45th Ward forum Thursday evening, Feb. 5, at Hitch School, 5625 N. McVicker Ave.
The Old Irving Park Association, the Greater Independence Park Neighborhood Association and Portage Park Neighborhood Association will hold a 45th Ward candidate forum at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Irving Park Baptist Church, 4401 W. Irving Park Road.