CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two candidates in the Chicago mayoral race who were facing petition challenges that could have knocked them off the ballot no longer have to worry about that.
Petition challenges can be time consuming and costly to bring, as well as for candidates to defend against. For Ja'Mal Green and Willie Wilson, those concerns are now over.
Mayoral candidate Ja'Mal Green was at the Chicago Board of Elections Wednesday afternoon ready to move on and be on the February 28 ballot for Chicago mayor.
His campaign staffer Kevin Hobby, who filed the objection to Willie Wilson's petitions, officially dropped off paperwork to formally withdraw his objection, clearing the way for Wilson to be on the ballot.
A short time later Rickey Hendon, the Wilson supporter who filed the petition to knock Green off the ballot, arrived at the Board of Elections to file his own papers to withdraw his challenge.
The two campaigns are laying down their swords.
"Today is just the day that we wanted to say Merry Christmas as we formed a pack of unity," Green said. "You know, we've had a lot of beef between candidates. It's important that we stay focused. We don't need any more division in this race."
"In the spirit of Christmas I have just signed a withdrawal slip against Ja'Mal Green so he can run for mayor of the city of Chicago, his little stanky one point. Merry Christmas Ja'Mal," Hendon said.
The decision was mutually beneficial to the Green and Wilson campaigns as they appeal to a very different voter base. But it could impact other Black candidates who might have benefitted if Green and Wilson were not on the ballot, further splintering Chicago's Black vote.
Green, who won the lottery for the first spot on the ballot, is now poised to be the youngest candidate to run for Chicago mayor. With the candidates formally dropping their petition challenges, the next step is the Board of Elections.
"But it's not official until the electoral board rules a candidate on or off the ballot as part of this process," Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Max Bever said.
One of those mayoral candidates, Johnny Logalbo, is about to get kicked off the ballot. A hearing officer found that he submitted fewer than 4,200 signatures to get on the ballot when 12,500 are required. Frederick Collins and Roderick Sawyer are still facing challenges.