Chicago mayor race: Hearings held as Willie Wilson, Ja'Mal Green try to kick each other off ballot

Craig Wall Image
Monday, December 12, 2022
Hearings held as mayoral candidates try to kick each other off ballot
Hearings were held as Chicago mayoral election candidates Willie Wilson and Ja'Mal Green try to kick each other off the ballot.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ballot battles in the race for Chicago mayor got underway on Monday morning.

Several candidates challenged the petition signatures of their rivals in attempt to disqualify them from the February election.

There were a total of six hearings on Monday involving the race for mayor, but the two of note have pitted businessman Willie Wilson against community activist Ja'Mal Green as they try to boot another off the ballot.

Green played defense and offense in the game of mayoral campaign politics as he fights to ward off a petition challenge from Wilson's team.

A second hearing also began involving a member of Green's campaign, Kevin Hobby, who is challenging the signature petitions that were filed by Wilson, alleging a pattern of fraud.

"A cursary glance of the nomination papers of Mr. Wilson will demonstrate that several hundred if not thousands of pages are clearly written in the same handwriting by the same person, so that's a big part of the pattern of fraud," said Anish Parikh, an attorney for the Green Campaign.

The finger was pointed at Wilson ally Ricky Hendon, who was in charge of collecting signatures.

He did not attend the hearings, but his attorney disputed the fraud allegation and said it's Green whose petitions won't survive the challenge.

"Ricky's been doing this for many, many years, I mean, he knows what he's doing. He was down at the board. He looked at the signatures. He reviewed the registrations and there were insufficient signatures there," said Andrew Finko, an attorney for the Wilson Campaign. "There is no bribery, first of all. There is no bribery at all. And, it's all in a sideshow. It's all just for the theatrics and it's all irrelevant."

Also part of the simmering feud between the campaigns are allegations Hendon called Hobby and tried to bribe him to drop his challenge against Wilson's petitions.

"That was the call. That happened, and it needs to be an investigation whether by the U.S. attorney, the board of elections," Green said.

Wilson's team also challenged the petition signatures of Aldeman Rod Sawyer. Two other candidates, Frederick Collins and Johnny Logalbo, are also being challenged. We will know the outcomes in the next couple of weeks.