CALUMET CITY | Three candidates seeking to be elected the mayor of Calumet City in next year’s elections had nominating petitions filed on their behalf Monday to get on the ballot for the Democratic primary election scheduled for Feb. 26.
The campaigns of Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush, along with challengers Brian Wilson, currently the 4th Ward alderman, and Victor Green, who ran for city treasurer in the 2009 elections, all were at the city clerk’s office when it opened at 8:30 a.m. Monday to file their petitions.
Wilson, who for much of this year has openly admitted he is challenging Qualkinbush, said he arrived at City Hall just after 5 a.m., enabling him to get the first spot in line.
Yet all candidates who were on hand when the clerk’s office opened will be eligible for a lottery to determine ballot position. That lottery has yet to be scheduled, but candidates were told they would be notified by the city when it will be held.
Despite the rush on Monday morning, candidates for municipal offices in Calumet City have until Nov. 26 to file petitions to get on the primary election ballot.
A candidate for mayor needs 127 valid signatures of support from registered voters, but Wilson said he filed petitions containing 2,223 signatures, which he picked out from the more than 3,000 signatures he said he gathered.
Also filing nominating petitions on Monday were a slate of candidates aligned with the Wilson campaign. Those include Rita Cortez for city clerk, Anthony Smith for city treasurer, and seven candidates for alderman — Lawrence Caballero for the 1st Ward, Patricia Twymon for the 2nd Ward, Wilbur Tillman for the 3rd Ward, RaMonde Williams to replace Wilson in the 4th Ward, DeJaun Gardner in the 5th Ward, Tyhani Hill for the 6th Ward, and Reginald Whitley for the 7th Ward.
Petitions were also filed for all the incumbent aldermen seeking re-election, who will be running on a slate aligned with Qualkinbush, who was not available to comment on Monday. Darius Hogans is on Qualkinbush's slate for 4th Ward alderman. Green and Hope Allen, who is running for alderman of the 6th Ward aligned with him, also were present on Monday to file petitions.
Candidates for alderman had to file a minimum of 25 valid signatures, although most had significantly more than that. Allen said she filed just under 100 signatures of support, and was convinced that any challenge to her petitions would fail.
“I won’t get kicked off, my signatures are all good,” she said.