Two more candidates for Chicago mayor were removed from the ballot Wednesday, narrowing the field once again.
Catherine Brown D'Tycoon and Roger Washington will not be on the ballot for the February election, the Chicago Board of Elections ruled.
Both were relatively unknown in the race, and struck from the ballot based on objections filed against their nominating petitions.
Candidates must submit at least 12,500 signatures of registered voters in order to appear on the ballot.
D'Tycoon did not appear at a hearing on the objection to her petitions - filed by associates of Toni Preckwinkle - and the Board ruled that it was sustained, striking D'Tycoon from the race.
Washington was removed from the ballot by default after he failed to respond to multiple requests - including attempts by the Cook County sheriff's office to serve him with a copy of the objection - to attend three separate hearings, according to the board's ruling. His petitions were challenged by associates of perennial candidate Willie Wilson.
That brings the total number of candidates in the race to 15, down from the initial 21 after four other candidates exited within the last week.
Long shots Conrein Hykes Clark, Sandra Mallory and Richard Mayers were all removed from the ballot by the board last week, while Ja'Mal Green withdrew from the race on Monday.
Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown still faces two challenges from Preckwinkle and Wilson, with hearings scheduled for Jan. 8.
In total, Preckwinkle, the current Cook County Board president, challenged the petitions of five other candidates who are all women of color. Her campaign was successful in knocking D'Tycoon and Clark off the ballot, while her challenges to Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Lori Lightfoot were overruled and the challenge against Brown remained outstanding.
Wilson's campaign also challenged five other candidates' petitions: Brown, Washington, Neal Sales-Griffin, state Rep. La Shawn Ford and Ja'Mal Green. All five are African-American, like Wilson, and male, with the exception of Brown.
Ford claimed last week that he had survived Wilson's objection to his petitions, saying in a statement that the hearing officer in his case had ruled to toss out the objection. That ruling had not been finalized by the full board of elections, however, a spokesman for the board clarified, and the objection remained outstanding until that time.
Wilson's challenge to Sales-Griffin's petitions remained outstanding as well, with no hearing scheduled as of Thursday.
Lightfoot, Mendoza, Bill Daley and Garry McCarthy all emerged unscathed from challenges to their petitions, while eight others - Preckwinkle, Wilson, Jerry Joyce, Paul Vallas, Gery Chico, Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti and John Kozlar - went unchallenged.
In some cases, objections could potentially be appealed in the courts and extend past the beginning of early voting, slated to start on Jan. 17.
State law mandates that early voting begin 40 days before Election Day, which is on Feb. 26. The Chicago Board of Elections said in a statement that it would announce a new start date as soon as the ballot it settled.
This will impact voters using the city's Loop Super Site, the Board said, while early voting in the wards, slated to start on Feb. 11, was not as likely to be affected.