Candidate’s challenge to Ald. Arena’s nominating papers dismissed
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners has dismissed an objection to the nominating petitions and statement of candidacy for Alderman John Arena (45th), leaving four candidates on the ballot for the ward’s aldermanic race.
The challenge was filed by aldermanic candidate Robert Bank, who is the former president of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association, and resident Ron Ernst, who has a pending lawsuit challenging the zoning for a planned 16-story building in Downtown Jefferson Park.
The board ruled that the number of petition sheets and signatures being challenged were insufficient to knock Arena off the ballot, as Arena filed 2,086 signatures. The minimum number to qualified signatures to be on the ballot was 473.
The challenge also claimed that the signature of the notary on Arena’s statement of candidacy was invalid because it had a missing middle initial. “The electoral board has long held that minor deficiencies in a notarization will not be held against a candidate or petition circulator,” the board’s ruling stated.
In addition to Arena and Bank, Chicago firefighter Jim Gardiner and Chicago Park District regional manger Marilyn Morales also are running for the 45th Ward aldermanic seat in the Feb. 26 municipal election.
Nadig Newspapers is co-sponsoring a 45th Ward candidate forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. The other sponsors are the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association, Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson Park Forward, Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association, Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, Six Corners Chamber of Commerce, Six Corners Association, Portage Park Neighborhood Association, Old Irving Park Association and Copernicus Foundation.