Dorothy Brown removed from ballot in Chicago mayoral election

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown has been removed from the ballot for mayor of Chicago by the Chicago Board of Elections.

Last week, a hearing officer recommended removing Brown because she did not have enough signatures to be on the ballot. Candidates Toni Preckwinkle and Willie Wilson filed the challenge against Brown.

The board determined Brown was almost 950 signatures short of the required amount to get on the February ballot. Though she has five days to challenge their decision in court, she said she will not and that she plans to endorse another candidate soon.

"At this point I have made the decision to endorse a candidate that is interested and committed to true change in Chicago," Brown said.

She will not be endorsing Preckwinkle, who along with Brown's petitions also challenged the petitions of other female mayoral candidates of color.

"We went after the people that we believed had significantly flawed petitions. Some survived the process, some didn't," said Kerri-Lynn Krathefer, Preckwinkle campaign attorney.

Wilson withdrew his challenge last week. The Wilson campaign also dropped its challenge to candidate Neal Sales-Griffin because through the process they learned to like him.

"This young man impressed me, I'm convinced Dr. Wilson we should withdraw it because he impressed me and his voice should be heard," said Ricky Henderson, Willie Wilson campaign.

The Board of Elections was furious, calling Wilson's challenge a bad faith objection, and ruled Sales-Griffin could stay on the ballot.

"It was frivolous. It wasted our time and resources, it delayed the entire process, cost tens of thousands of dollars," said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections.

Now there's not much time for the 31-year-old tech entrepreneur to play catch-up.

"A lot of questionnaires to answer, a lot of forum invitations to answer, I'm excited to reenter the race with race with this new found energy and steam," Seals-Griffith said.

Because the Chicago Board of Elections called Wilson's challenge to Sales-Griffin a waste of taxpayers' money, the board also discussed pursuing legislation to seek financial sanctions against candidates or objectors who file frivolous objections.

The mayoral election is Tuesday, February 26.
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