ALBANY PARK — In her first election bid since being appointed 33rd Ward alderman in July 2013, Deb Mell will face three challengers.
Mell replaced her father, Dick Mell, who first held the 33rd Ward seat in 1975 and ran unopposed in 2007 and 2011. She formerly served as 40th District state representative and has a dual degree in political science and history from Cornell College.
Since taking office, Mell has formed a Transportation Action Committee, focused on resolving issues with problem buildings and supported ordinances that established an independent budget office and placed a hold on single-room-occupancy conversions.
Records show Mell has about $70,000 in her campaign fund, having raised nearly $59,000 from July 1 to Sept. 30, with expenditures of $8,000 in that same period.
Her three challengers in February will include a Chicago Public Schools teacher, a former Peace Corps volunteer and an Army veteran.
Each candidate had to submit petitions by 5 p.m. Monday containing the signatures of at least 473 registered voters, said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
Objections to any of those signatures are due by 5 p.m. Dec. 3, Allen said.
Tim Meegan is a National Board Certified social studies teacher at Roosevelt High School, where he also serves as a delegate to the Chicago Teachers Union. He has been endorsed by Northside Democracy for America.
Running as an independent, progressive candidate, Meegan backs a platform that includes a moratorium on privatizing the city's assets; eliminating mayoral control of the CHA, CTA and CPS; restoring cuts to free clinics and mental health services; implementing a $15 minimum wage; and a moratorium on school closings and charter expansion.
He has about $1,600 in his campaign fund, having raised $10,600 and spent nearly $9,000, records show.
Annisa Wanat, also endorsed by Northside Democracy For America, is a former Peace Corps volunteer and nonprofit consultant. She has degrees in education and public affairs and speaks Spanish, Bulgarian, German and Serbian.
She said key issues include TIF reform, reducing the size of the City Council, creating an elected School Board and lobbying for a progressive income tax. As alderman, she pledges to standardize the process for zoning requests and establish committees for parks, education, ward funds, TIF districts and zoning.
Records show Wanat has about $7,100 in campaign funds, having raised $12,500 and spent $5,400.
Tyler Solorio rounds out the slate of 33rd Ward candidates. A student at DePaul University studying public policy and communications, he is an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.
His platform includes an elected School Board, an end to privatizing the city's assets, a focus on green economic development, participatory budgeting and establishing ward services such as text alerts and snow shoveling of alleys.
According to public records, Solorio has about $500 in his campaign fund.
The election is set for Feb. 24. In races where no candidate earns 50 percent of the votes cast, a runoff between the top two candidates will take place April 7.
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