Correction: In an earlier post we listed twelve people running for mayor. The information was based on a report from the Election Board at 4pm. The final number is 20 as of 9PM.
One would think a new Target, Wal-Mart, or a major hotel was announcing job openings. Maybe there was an ad in Craigslist. As of 9PM last night twenty people filed petitions to run for mayor. In the 24th Ward, 23 people filed to run for alderman. In total, 350 people filed petitions to run for alderman citywide. Some like Riley or O’Connor are running unopposed. In other wards six to ten people are running for alderman.
Times must really be tough. 350 people filed for a part-time job that pays a measly two thousand dollars a week, with lousy Cadillac benefits, and a woeful $75,000.00 expense account. By law the position of alderman is a part time job. It has been this way since the inception of the council.
This is historic. Never have so many people decided to run in one election in Chicago. Most will not survive ballot challenges. A good number are suicide missions. Some will disappear- they just wanted to see their name on the ballot. Many are shills and puppets of the machine. The very fact that so many tried tells us one thing. People have an interest in changing the way things are done.
The trick in this election will be to generate enough anger in our apathetic population to vote for change. People keep spouting outrage over the corrupt machine that runs Chicago. Yet, on election day they stay home. Or hold their noses and vote for the same buffoons, mooks, clowns, mamalukes, and goofs who are stealing us blind. But they are an entertaining bunch.
Hopefully the media in this city will give ample press coverage to all the candidates so they can get their message out. Prayerfully they will not endorse any incumbent alderman or any of the typical machine hacks running for mayor, treasurer, or city clerk.
It is time we had new ideas, instead of the same old gimme mine philosophy that infects city hall. It is time we had a municipal government that services the people instead of creating wealth for themselves and their cronies. It is time we had a government we can be proud of.
Note, do to a quirk in our election law, candidates must generate over 50% of the vote to win- 50% plus one vote. If not, there is a run off election in April. With the number of people running, a run off is predicted for mayor and many city council seats.