CHICAGO | An Illinois appellate court panel refused Monday to clear the way for Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush and most of her allies to run unopposed in Tuesday’s primary elections for municipal office.
The appeals court ruled Monday afternoon to uphold the views of Cook County Associate Judge Alfred Paul – who earlier this month reinstated mayoral hopeful Victor Green and aldermanic candidates Hope Allen (6th Ward) and Imani Akin (4th Ward) to the ballot.
Late Monday, the court upheld the bulk of a decision by county Presiding Judge Ponce de Leon – who had reinstated an entire slate of municipal candidates aligned with mayoral hopeful Brian Wilson.
But the appeals court determined the candidacy of one Wilson ally, 1st Ward aldermanic hopeful Larry Caballero, was flawed because he filed the wrong form to indicate his statement of economic interest.
The end result is 1st Ward Alderman Eric Schneider will run unopposed, but all the other candidates for municipal office will have challengers. Tuesday’s Democratic primary election for mayor will be between Qualkinbush and Green.
City Clerk Nyota Figgs and Treasurer Gerald Tarka will run against Wilson allies Rita Cortez and Anthony Smith, respectively.
For the City Council, aldermanic candidates Patricia Twymon (2nd Ward), Wilbur “Will” Tillman (3rd Ward), RaMonde Williams and Akin (4th Ward), DeJuan Gardner (5th Ward), Tyhani Hill and Allen (6th Ward) and Reginald Whitley (7th Ward) will run against 2nd Ward Alderman Magdalena “Leni” Wosczynski, 3rd Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones, 4th Ward aldermanic candidate Darius Hogans, 5th Ward alderman Roger Munda, 6th Ward Alderman Nick Manousopoulos and 7th Ward Alderman Antoine Collins.
The court issued no explanation for its ruling to keep Green on the ballot, but said in a one-paragraph statement that a written brief will be released later this week.
“Because the election is (Tuesday), they wanted us to know the outcome right away,” said Green’s attorney, Adam Lasker.
James Nally, an attorney representing the interests of Qualkinbush and her candidate slate, had little to say about the ruling. “It looks like most of the candidates will be on the ballot after all,” he said.
Among the candidates, Akin said going through the ballot access process was educational. “I don’t think many people realize how easily our Constitutional rights to have a choice in elections can be trampled on,” she said.
Wilson’s mayoral bid is not on Tuesday’s ballot. He wants to run in the April 9 general election as a political independent, although he was removed by the electoral board. Attorney John Jawor on Monday filed an appeal at the Daley Center in Chicago – seeking a judge to reinstate Wilson to the ballot.
“We’ll go before the Circuit Court, and soon I’ll be back on the ballot,” Wilson said.
Although Wilson was challenged by supporters of both Qualkinbush and Green. The latter contends that because Wilson initially filed papers to run in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, he is ineligible to run an independent bid in April – even though he voluntarily withdrew from Tuesday’s election.
Lasker said he expects the courts ultimately will uphold that concept, and keep Wilson off the April ballot.