The race to replace Mayor Richard Daley may be the big attention-getter over the next several months, but it's not the only game in town: the City Clerk, the City Treasurer's office and 50 wards in Chicago also get elected representation.
Officials say 158 people submitted their names and petitions on Monday, the first official day to file. Dozens of hopefuls, incumbents included, lined up before dawn.
"We have a real opportunity to change the landscape of our city council," said Garrido.
At least eight aldermen are retiring, and that's creating a free-for-all, according to Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd).
"We're expecting a record number of filings with 250-300 aldermanic opponents and incumbents running for election," he said.
In fact, two wards -- the 24th Ward on the city's West Side and the 41st Ward on the city's Northwest Side -- each have nine candidates in the running.
Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st) expects six or seven challengers and has his own theory about why so many people are running this year.
"In part because of the economy. In part because of the state of the city. In part because the mayor will no longer be there," he said.
In the 20th Ward, hiphop artist Rhymefest is among those challenging incumbent Willie Cochran.
And while the office brings a salary of about $100,000 per year, and a $73,000 expense account, Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) said there's a more simple reason she loves the job:
"It's where you live. And you want to continue to improve where you live," she said.