The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Mel Ferrand Suspends Campaign for 40th District State Representative

By Patty Wetli | March 11, 2014 8:52am
 A ballot challenge kept Mel Ferrand off the slate of 40th District Democratic candidates.
A ballot challenge kept Mel Ferrand off the slate of 40th District Democratic candidates.
View Full Caption
Facebook/Mel Ferrand for Illinois

IRVING PARK — The field of candidates has narrowed in next Tuesday's Democratic primary race for 40th District state representative after Mel Ferrand suspended her campaign Monday.

Ferrand — a Chicago Public School teacher attempting to become the first "out Latina-Jewish lesbian to serve in the General Assembly" — faced a ballot challenge from supporters of candidate Nancy Schiavone and ultimately was deemed ineligible to run for the office after it was determined she filled out incorrect paperwork.

"I am both saddened at the loss of the opportunity to see this campaign through to its end, and also invigorated by the excitement, kindness and conviction of the people of our district," Ferrand said in a statement.

"I will remain an educator, advocate and fighter for the people of the 40th."

In an email to DNAinfo Chicago, Ferrand expanded on her statement, expressing disappointment at her failed bid to represent not only the 40th District but also the LGBT community.

"With the replacement of Deb Mell in the State House in August, Illinois is left with only three openly LGBT members. With the removal of me from the ballot, our community has lost the possibility for bringing our number back to four," she said.

"With such low representation, the rights we have gained, and those yet to be achieved, are in constant jeopardy. As an out lesbian, and active member of the community, I wanted to continue to be an advocate for us," Ferrand said. "This campaign, to succeed Deb Mell, was a start at making sure we continue and cultivate the progress we have already won."

The five remaining Democratic candidates are: Jaime Andrade, longtime aide to former Ald. Dick Mell, appointed 40th District representative in August; Aaron Goldstein, attorney; Wendy Jo Harmston, former member of North River Commission board; Mark Pasieka, electrical engineer; and Nancy Schiavone, 35th Ward Democratic Committeeman.