While most contests for next March’s primary elections look quiet, the race for 47th Ward Democratic Committeeman got an expected jolt yesterday morning as lobbyist Paul Rosenfeld filed his petitions to run against incumbent and former 47th Ward Alderman Gene Schulter for Democratic Ward Committeeman. While Schulter did not file a petition to run for the committeeman spot, he stated in an email yesterday that he, “will be running again.”
Candidates file early to be eligible for a drawing to win the top ballot spot. To be placed on the ballot, candidates must file their petitions by 5:00 p.m., December 5.
4oth Ward Alderman and incumbent 4oth Ward Democratic Committeeman Pat O’Connor, as well as 33rd Ward Alderman and incumbent 33rd Ward Democratic Committeeman Dick Mell, also filed to run for reelection yesterday morning. No challengers filed to oppose either incumbent on the first day.
Incumbents for all of Center Square’s state legislative positions filed at 8:00 a.m. in Springfield to be eligible for the top ballot spot. No other Democrats filed on the first day to compete against Illinois State Senator and Senate President John Cullerton (D-6), State Sen. Heather Steans (D-7), State Rep. Ann Williams (D-11) or State Rep. Greg Harris (D-13). No Republicans or Greens filed to run for those seats on the first day either.
Many opposition candidates wait until the final day to file their nomination petitions to gain the element of surprise against incumbents and to limit the amount of time the incumbents have to scrutinize their ballot nomination petitions. In Illinois, candidates can be knocked off the ballot for many arcane and complicated reasons such as a lack of legible nomination signatures or incorrectly numbered pages in the petition.