Monday evening at 5:00 p.m. was the deadline for candidate filing for the March 20th, 2012 primary elections and while most Roscoe View area aldermanic and state legislative campaigns will be unopposed, the 32nd and 1st Ward Democratic Committeeman races will have hotly contested campaigns.
In the 32nd Ward incumbent Democratic Committeeman and Cook County Comm. John Fritchey will be competing against 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack in a campaign that seems to have been building for some time. Both Fritchey and Waguespack are proven fundraisers with significant volunteer support and they both come from the progressive wing of their party.
In the 1st Ward another grudge-match has formed up as Ald. Joe “Proco” Moreno filed to run against incumbent Democratic Committeeman Jesse Ruben Juarez. Both Moreno and Juarez were once part of former 1st Ward Ald. Manny Flores organization.
A last minute addition to the 1st Ward race came yesterday afternoon as Anne Shaw, an organizer of save the 13th Police District movement, filed to run for Committeeman as a protest against last week’s city budget vote to eliminate the district, according to her campaign website.
In the 32nd Ward Republican Committeeman’s race incumbent John J. Curry attracted an opponent, Stephen F. Boulton and in the 1st Ward Republican Committeeman race Ron Baltierra will be face Cheryl Linn Bailey in an open seat race to succeed outgoing incumbent Kathleen Cordes.
Campaigns for the 1st and 32nd Ward races are likely to be confused between now and election day as the Chicago City Council debates and agrees on a new ward map. A proposed map, which was due to be announced on December 1, is expected to significantly redraw the 32nd and 1st Ward boundaries. Especially in the narrow, snake-like shaped 1st Ward, announced candidates could easily be mapped out of their wards and voters will have to quickly learn which ward and which leaders they are supposed to vote for.
Candidates will also have to survive a ballot challenge period, where the legal validity of their petitions to be on the ballot can be challenged for picayune reasons such as signature legibility and correct page numbering. The final ballot lineup will not be approved by the Chicago Board of Elections until February 3, 2012.
44th Ward Ald. and Democratic Committeeman Tom Tunney will run unopposed this year, as will state legislators Rep. Ann Williams, Sara Feigenholz and State Sen. and Senate President John Cullerton in the Democratic primary.