PORTAGE PARK — The ballot in the 38th Ward Chicago City Council race is set, with Chicago elections officials ruling Tuesday that a retired city worker should remain on the ballot.
Michael Duda collected enough signatures to qualify for the race to replace to replace Ald. Tim Cullerton, whose family has represented Portage Park and Dunning since 1973, Chicago elections officials decided.
Candidates were required to submit a minimum of 473 signatures from registered 38th Ward voters to qualify for the ballot.
Duda, who does not have a campaign website or Facebook page and is not listed in the phone book, could not be reached for comment. In addition, Duda has not created a committee with state officials that would allow him to accept campaign contributions.
Janelle Rau-Clauson, an assistant director for the Service Employee International Union, who objected to the petitions filed by Duda, along with those filed by candidates John Cianci, Mike Keeney and Jerry Paszek, did not return a phone message left Tuesday afternoon.
Elections officials tossed Cianci off the ballot for not signing his statement of candidacy as required and found that Keeney, a Chicago police officer, had not collected enough signatures.
But elections officials dismissed claims of petition-signature fraud against Paszek, a Cook County Forest Preserve sergeant.
That leaves seven candidates in the Feb. 24 election, the the first under a new City Council map that moved most of Dunning from the 36th Ward into the 38th Ward, which has been known for decades as the "Cullerton Seat" on the City Council.
The other candidates in the race are Chicago City Council legislative aide Belinda Cadiz; Realtor Tom Caravette; Carmen Hernandez, a City of Chicago water department investigator; Heather Sattler, the chief operating officer of the 100 Club of Chicago; and Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th).
In races where no candidate earns 50 percent of the votes cast on Feb. 24, a runoff between the top two candidates will take place April 7.
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