NOV 29, 2022
Ten candidates file petitions to challenge Lightfoot in 2023 mayoral election
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday filed her petitions to run for reelection. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]
Monday marked the close of the window for candidates to file petitions to get on the 2023 municipal ballot, and by the end of the day 11 people filed petition signatures to run for mayor.
While most candidates hoping to lead Chicago as mayor filed their petitions last week on the first day of filing, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6), Frederick Collins and Johnny Logalbo filed their petitions Monday.
Related: First day of candidate filing for Feb. 28 election draws petition filings from six mayoral hopefuls
In addition to the four candidates who filed on Monday, the following mayoral hopefuls filed petitions last week: businessman Willie Wilson, former CPS CEO Paul Vallas, state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago), Cook County Comm. Brandon Johnson (D-1), Ald. Sophia King (4) and community activist Ja’Mal Green.
Lightfoot filed her petitions first thing Monday, touting the more than 40,000 signatures her campaign collected from across the city. Mayoral candidates need at least 12,500 signatures to make it on the ballot.
“The next thing that we’re focused on is continuing our effort to reach voters all across the city to remind them not only what we’ve done over the last three-and-a-half years, but what our vision is for the next four and why the only rational choice is to return me to office,” Lightfoot said Monday morning after filing her petitions.
The mayor said that since she took office, she has taken the city on a path “about equity, it’s about inclusion. It’s about making sure that no part of our city is forgotten, that every part gets resources and gets dealt into the prosperity of our city.”
Responding to a question about why she didn’t wait until the end of the day Monday to file her signatures, which would have given her the chance to be placed last on the ballot, Lightfoot said the concern about where a candidate is listed on the ballot “is if you are an unknown and people don’t know you. They know who I am.”
Lightfoot declined to say which of the other candidates’ petition signatures she would challenge but did say she has pulled petitions of everyone who has filed so far and will do so for anyone who filed Monday.
“If we believe that there’s a legitimate basis, then we’ll make decisions at that point, but we haven’t made any decisions yet,” Lightfoot said.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) told The Daily Line on Monday that he has an “experienced team” that has requested copies of Lightfoot’s petition signatures. “We’ll analyze them and make a decision [about whether to challenge Lightfoot’s signatures] based on that,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins isn’t supporting Lightfoot for a second term, and he said he decided to consider challenging her signatures after she didn’t file last week.
“When she announced she wasn’t going to file on the first day, that was a signal to many of us that she was falling short on her numbers,” Hopkins said.
Garcia, by contrast, filed his petitions just after 4 p.m. Monday. He and his supporters wheeled in a stack stamped with his signature moustache that the congressman said contained nearly 50,000 signatures, though supporter Ald. Mike Rodriguez (22) said the number hovered above 47,800. Garcia said he doesn’t intend to challenge any of his opponents’ signatures and called his petitions “challenge-proof.”
“We have taken our time to be methodical and to be everywhere in Chicago,” Garcia said. Garcia filed last on Monday and secured his name to appear last among mayoral candidates on the ballot.
“The filing today demonstrates that in a very short amount of time, we connected with Chicagoans all over this city and that's what will lead us to victory,” he later added.
In response to Lightfoot calling herself the only “rational” choice for mayor Monday morning, Garcia told reporters “Look, I think if you ask voters across Chicagoland and other taxpayers, they're ready for a change. I believe that my history has been one of consistency, always standing for principle, always standing with people. That is how I will conduct myself, and that is how I intend on governing.”
The mayor is facing a challenge from two members of the City Council. Ald. Sophia King (4) filed her petitions last week and Sawyer filed Monday. Lightfoot was unphased by her City Council challengers.
“Every single major initiative that we put forward, whether it’s closing record budget deficits, whether it’s getting policy work done, guess what? We’ve gotten it done. Because I know how to build coalitions. I know how to bring people together,” Lightfoot said. “Every single time there’s been a challenge and you are speculating, ‘oh, she can’t get it done because of this, that and the other and people don’t like her personality,’ we deliver every single time.”
Sawyer on Monday declined to say how many signatures he collected to get on the ballot, saying “we're comfortable on [the] number and we really want to move past this and get to the real campaign and talk about issues.”
Sawyer said he is also a “rational choice” to lead Chicago. “I think I'm a model of consistency,” Sawyer said.
And the idea of “resetting” the city will be a theme of Sawyer’s campaign as people are ready for change, he said.
“That's why we're talking about resetting Chicago, resetting what we do, resetting how government works for people, resetting what government looks like, resetting what our beliefs look like, resetting what our business districts and neighborhoods look like,” Sawyer said.
Garcia is likely to compete for progressive votes against King, the chair of the City Council Progressive Reform Caucus, and Johnson. But he told reporters he believes his decades of public service make him the best choice for that base.
“My 40 years in public service are a testament to my values, to my foundational beliefs, to my history of standing up for what is right in good times and in difficult times,” Garcia said. “I don't change with the seasons. That is the record that I will share and take to the people of Chicago.”
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