Candidates for mayor begin to gather signatures

September 13, 2010 2:45:11 PM PDT
The work of getting signatures on petitions is separating the real candidates from the mere contenders in the race for mayor.

A serious candidate must gather more than 12,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

At the Mexican Independence Day Parade in Little Village Sunday, circulators were collecting signatures on petitions for one of the higher profile mayoral contenders.

"I've asked some volunteers to get together today to collect signatures on a petition to put my name on the ballot," said U.S. Rep. (D) Luis Gutierrez.

Other possible candidates have not put their troops on the street yet.

While another, city clerk Miguel del Valle, claimed to have been the first contender to begin a petition drive.

"I started circulating petitions Saturday...I was the first one," del Valle said.

State Senator Rev. James Meeks confirmed for ABC 7 Monday that he launched a mayoral petition drive on Saturday.

To appear on the February 22, 2011, ballot, candidates must present the valid signatures of 12,500 registered city voters.

"We only publish the legal requirements for that petition, and we publish a sample one that they can use, but it is up to the candidates to create the petition themselves," said Langdon Neal, Chicago Board of Elections.

"They will need 12,500 valid signatures and $4 million, and 2,000 or 3,000 precinct workers," said Prof. Dick Simpson, University of Illinois-Chicago.

Monday morning, Richard M. Daley's brother, county commissioner John Daley told ABC 7 he was not interested in the mayor's office and that he and rest of the Daley family are convinced that his older brother made the right decision.

"I think its a great decision for him. He's made that decision, and I think he wants to go on with another chapter of his life," said John Daley.

Finally, six days after Mayor Daley's decision not to run for a seventh term, insiders tell ABC 7 that Hizzoner's political army is already beginning to scatter. They are thousands of some of the best political workers in Chicago looking for a new boss.

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