Alderman Rey Colon (35th) was removed from the March 20th ballot as a candidate for Democratic 35th Ward Committeeman. Alderman Colon is the current Democratic Ward Committeeman. According to the Chicago News Cooperative, Colon’s petitions were challenged by Miguel Sotomayor and Roger Klich.
Michel Dorf, an attorney for Sotomayor and Klich, said the board’s vote against Colon should serve as a lesson for other candidates.
“He only filed about 19 signatures above the minimum that’s required, and that’s just a very risky strategy,” Dorf said after the hearing. “The rule of thumb is you should be filing at least three times the number of signatures, and to file only 19 over the minimum showed a lot of overconfidence.”
Sotomayor and Klich challenged the validity of 162 signatures in Colon’s nomination papers, which would put Colon below the 347 needed to run. Last month, a hearing officer for the board recommended that their objection be upheld.
This is the the third incumbent ward boss who has encountered trouble staying on the ballot. Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th) withdrew from the committeeman’s race in her ward after her nomination petitions were challenged for not having enough valid signatures.
In addition, Alderman Howard Brookins (21st) is 100 signatures shy of his needed minimum of 939 signatures. Brooks is represented by renowned election attorney, Burt Odelson. Brookins is confident he will collect affidavits from at least 125 people whose signatures were removed.
In other Chicago Ward Committeeman news, 1st Ward Committeeman Jesse Ruben Juarez has easily beaten back a challenge from 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno. Juarez has promised to file a lawsuit against Moreno for filing a “frivolous” challenge.
Anne Shaw, a community activist and community leader, also has apparently beaten back Moreno’s challenge of her petitions, exceeding the minmum limit by 311 signatures. Both challenges against Juarez and Shaw were filed by Juan “Johnny” Elias, on behalf of Alderman Proco Joe Moreno (1st). The Moreno campaign is determined to knock off Anne Shaw, because her presence in the race is perceived to hurt Moreno’s chances of victory.
Alderman Proco Joe Moreno was challenged by Anne Shaw because of Moreno’s support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan top close Chicago 13th District police station located in the 1st Ward. Mayor Emanuel referred to closing of police stations as the “third rail of Chicago politics.” Moreno could be the first casualty of touching that third rail.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon.