Monday is the deadline for new political party and independent candidates to file nominating petitions with the state board of elections.
On Monday morning, Claypool retrieved stacks of petitions from a North Side bank vault. He says he has more than 90,000 signatures in his independent bid for county assessor. He says about 1,000 people gathered the names in about 77 days.
The self-described political reformer said he didn't want to take a chance with the petitions, hinting at what he calls "shenanigans" that he says are always possible in Cook County politics.
Claypool called the signatures a valuable signal to the powers-that-be for people who want a real independent.
"I've been a taxpayer champion my whole career," he said. "I fought the Stroger tax increases and friends-and-family political culture, so this is very consistent with that. Joe Berrios is pay-to-play, takes campaign crash from lawyers, gives millions of breaks to them, and we pay the difference in higher taxes. So it's very much consistent with my career to this point."
Democratic candidate Berrios is seen as the principal opponent, a seasoned office holder with strong support from many established politicians. Also fighting for this post is Republican Sharon Eckersall, former assessor in Evanston Township.