Twenty file in the final to replace Daley

A large crowd composed of dozens of candidates for mayor, alderman, and other city offices lined up outside the Chicago Board of Elections on Nov. 22 waiting to file paperwork for next February’s election.

With the top spot on the 2011 ballot being the bid for mayor, some candidates lined up before the 9 a.m. opening time Monday  waiting to present the candidacy petitions in the basement located at 69 W. Washington.

In a final total- twenty different people filed petitions to appear on the ballot for Chicago mayor before the 5 p.m. deadline.

At least a half of dozen major candidates turned in ballets: Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chicago, and city clerk Miguel Del Valle.

Attorney Burt Odelson handed in more than 30,000 signatures for mayoral candidate Reverend James Meeks who was under the weather.
“It says that Rev. Meeks is a strong candidate and he’s in this to stay and he’ll be the next mayor of Chicago,” said Odelson

One candidate who filed 20,000 petitions to run for mayor came as a surprise to many, Rahm Emanuel’s North Side tenant Rob Halpin.

“This isn’t really about me, it’s about Chicago. You finally have someone who’s an outsider, not a professional politician, who wants to take a crack at running the city. And I think I’ll do a good job,” said Halpin. “I don’t know Rahm. I don’t have any dispute with Rahm. I spoke to him once or twice.”

Another surprise to many, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins submitted almost 40,00 signatures.

November 15, a December 1st lottery will be held to determine who gets the first spot on the ballot.

Candidates need 12,500 signatures to ensure a spot on the February ballot to succeed retiring Mayor Richard Daley.

Several candidates scrambled to be the last ones in before the doors close at 5 p.m. so their names are placed last on the ballot.

Community activist William “Dock” Walls snuck in during the last few minutes, making him the last out of the candidates running for mayor.

“It’s often said that the last person on the ballot is at an advantage because you have voters who have gone through and eliminated all the other candidates,” said Walls.

A candidate who has decided not to run for mayor but is undecided about what office she wants to hold, is 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson. She turned in signatures for both alderman and city clerk.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to take this next week at home with the family, enjoy some turkey and talk about the decision to go forward either with the alder-manic seat or press forward for Chicago city clerk,” said Jackson.

Jackson will decide next Monday which office she plans to pursue.