Candidates who filed petitions on Monday will be eligible to be the first listed on the February municipal ballot in Chicago, and while six candidates for mayor filed, the incumbent and one of her chief rivals did not.
According to the Chicago Board of Elections, six of the potential candidates seeking to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot filed their nominating petitions on Monday, the first day that they were able to do so.
That group includes Cook County Board Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who has received high-profile labor endorsements from the Chicago Teachers Union and local chapters of SEIU.
Chicago Ald. Sophia King also filed her petitions on Monday, as did former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.
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Businessman and philanthropist Dr. Willie Wilson, running for the mayoral position for a third time, filed his petitions as well, as did Illinois State Rep. Kam Buckner.
Community activist Ja’Mal Green filed his petitions when the doors opened on Monday, officials said.
Candidates interested in running for mayor are required to obtain at least 12,500 signatures from registered voters in order to get on the ballot. Most candidates will obtain significantly higher numbers to survive potential challenges before the Chicago Board of Elections, with candidates being removed from the ballot if they dip below that threshold.
Those candidates who filed on the first day will be entered into a lottery to determine which of their names will appear at the top of the list, a potential advantage in a crowded field.
Lightfoot, who is seeking a second term in office, said last week that she plans to file her nominating petitions next Monday, the final day that potential candidates will be allowed to do so. That would put her in the running
Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, who finished as the runner-up in a 2015 runoff with former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, also did not file his petitions on Monday.
Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer did not file his petitions, nor did veteran Chicago police officer Frederick Collins, according to CBOE officials.
Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez announced Monday that he would be dropping out of the mayoral race, and instead filed petitions to defend his City Council seat in the 15th Ward, according to officials.
Interested candidates have until Monday to file their petitions. Challenges to those petitions will then be heard by the Chicago Board of Elections before the final ballot is set next month.
The municipal election will take place on Feb. 28. If no candidate in a given race receives at least 50% of the vote, then a runoff would take place on April 4 between the top two vote-getters.
The last two Chicago mayoral elections have gone to runoffs, including in 2019 when Lightfoot bested Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. In 2015, Emanuel defeated García in a hotly-contested race.