CHICAGO — Four candidates are hoping to upset Ald. Joe Moreno in the 1st Ward; six contenders are vying for the up-for-grabs spot at the helm of the city's sprawling 2nd Ward; and Ald. Scott Waguespack faces just one challenger in the 32nd Ward.
Just after Monday's 5 p.m. deadline to file for the Feb. 24 aldermanic election, several challengers and incumbents said they collected far more than the required 473 signatures needed to be put on the ballot.
There are four candidates running against incumbent Ald. Joe Moreno (1st): Anne Shaw, Ronda Locke, Andrew Hamilton and Mia Lopez.
Locke, an East Village resident, said she collected more than 2,700 signatures.
"A lot of volunteers helped to make this a reality; the goal was to get many more [signatures] than required," said Locke, who formerly worked as a community outreach coordinator for Moreno during his first two years in office.
She was the third challenger to announce her candidacy against Moreno, following Shaw and Hamilton, who kicked off their campaigns in August.
Lopez, a West Town resident, is the director of operations for a charter school and a former campaign manager for Moreno's 2011 election campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile.
On Monday, Lopez said she just jumped into the race earlier this month and has not formed a committee yet. Lopez said she was able to collect about 600 signatures.
Moreno has raised $144,000 for his campaign, while Shaw has brought in $22,000, and Hamilton has raised $4,900, according to state records. So far, Locke and Lopez have not filed how much money they have raised.
Last week, Locke filed a complaint with the city's Inspector General's Office alleging that Moreno called her a "b---" in a text message, though it was not clear that the message was intended for Locke, Our Urban Times reported.
The complaint also alleges that Locke was harassed by workers who were collecting signatures for Moreno at a polling station at LaSalle II Elementary School, 1148 N. Honore St.
Locke claimed that one of the canvassers called her a back stabber because Moreno gave money to her family, an accusation Locke denies.
Moreno declined to comment on Locke's allegations.
In 2011, Moreno paid Locke close to $5,500, the bulk of the money for consulting projects and reimbursement for supplies, according to state records.
When asked how he feels about having four challengers, Moreno said, "Anyone is free to run."
Moreno, who said he has collected about 6,600 signatures, also said, "I am absolutely excited and determined to keep the 1st Ward moving in a progressive, pragmatic direction."
Moreno, a longtime Wicker Park resident, was appointed to his role as alderman in the 2010 and elected in 2011.
Moreno and Shaw both filed their petitions a week ago, on the first day of registration.
In a Facebook post last week, Shaw, an East Village resident who runs her own legal practice, said she has collected close to 3,000 signatures.
"It's official! Turned in close to 3,000 signatures of awesome 1st Ward voters who are looking for positive and people driven change in Chicago. Now the work is just starting. Please support me by signing up to volunteer and donating to my campaign at my brand new website!" Shaw said.
Hamilton, a lawyer who lives in Ukrainian Village, said Monday that he has collected about 1,000 signatures.
"We would like to thank everyone that signed signatures. We look forward to hearing more of their concerns. We are excited and ready to move forward," Hamilton said.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) faces just one challenger, Elise Doody-Jones, a Logan Square resident who does not live in the ward but said that if elected, she would move there.
Doody-Jones, a former ally of Moreno, filed her candidacy at 5 p.m. Monday, according to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Doody-Jones wrote, "Today I submitted over 1,500 signatures to become a candidate for the 32nd Ward of Chicago. It is exciting to take all of the things we have done in the community to the next level. Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make today possible."
Waguespack said he has collected more than 1,600 signatures.
"I'm confidant that I will be able to continue to serve and improve the ward for 32nd Ward residents and businesses, as well as the people of the entire city," Waguespack said on Monday.
"Democracy works best when we have choices. Everyone should have choices in all of the races. That is the sign of a healthy democracy," Doody-Jones previously said.
The 2nd Ward aldermanic seat will have no incumbent in February because Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) will no longer live in the ward after the city's new ward map boundaries take effect.
Fioretti is also one of nine candidates running against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The new 2nd Ward, which looks like a horseshoe as it cuts through portions of the lakefront, covers parts of the Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and Bucktown, specifically on North Avenue from the Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection west to Leavitt Street.
The candidates running for the 2nd Ward post are:
Steve Niketopoulos, a media producer and community organizer who is the administrator for several neighborhood group Facebook pages.
Stacey Pfingsten, a former community outreach coordinator for Fioretti.
Brian Hopkins, a former aide to Cook County Commissioner John Daley.
Bita Buenrostro, a restaurant executive who previously ran for 43rd Ward alderman in 2011.
Alyx Pattison, a West Town resident who works as an attorney and serves as a community representative on Jose de Diego School's Local School Council.
Cornell Wilson, a Marine Corps veteran.
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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