By Mark Wachtler
January 12, 2015. Chicago (ONN) Next month, municipalities in Illinois will hold Elections to choose Mayors, city officials and City Council members. In Chicago, 5 Mayoral candidates were kicked off the ballot leaving 4 to run against Mayor Emanuel. In the races for Chicago’s 50 City Council seats, there are currently 198 candidates with 33 of them still fighting challenges to their ballot access petitions. 53 have already been removed from the ballot, including the Green Party’s lone candidate and a PSL leader whose been campaigning for over a year.
PSL Chicago’s John Beacham addressing a crowd of demonstrators. Image courtesy of IndependentPoliticalReport.com.
2015 Chicago municipal Election - Feb 24, 2015
As detailed two weeks ago by Opposition News’ sister publication in Chicago, the Illinois Herald, there were two official opposition candidates running for seats on Chicago’s City Council. The Election is non-partisan, meaning there are no Party labels. It’s much like the Top Two system in that all Parties’ candidates run against each other in the first round, with the top two facing each other in a run-off election if nobody captures 50% or more of the vote the first time around.
And while some candidates often keep their political affiliation secret when running, others proudly proclaim their Party loyalty. Two of those candidates were the Green Party’s Alberto Bocanegra running for Alderman of Chicago’s 15th Ward. The other was John Beacham, a local leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and a candidate for 49th Ward Alderman. Both men have just been removed from the Election ballot by the Chicago Board of Elections.
Alberto Bocanegra, Green Party - 15th Ward
The city of Chicago doesn’t allow much time to campaign for local office. The time from the date petitions are submitted until Election Day is only about three months. That’s why many were impressed with the Green Party of Chicago’s preparedness this election cycle. They not only had an official Green Party candidate for Chicago City Council, they had a list of endorsements among the other races. But between that day and today, their candidate - Alberto Bocanegra - was removed from the February 24th Election ballot.
‘The Green Party of Chicago is very pleased to announce its first endorsements in the 2015 Chicago Municipal Elections,’ the Chicago Green Party announced, ‘Alberto Bocanegra is recognized as a Green Party candidate in his race. This is Alberto’s third run for Alderman, and first in the newly redrawn 15th Ward, which is an open seat and an excellent opportunity to put the first Green on the City Council.’
As evidenced by the Chicago Board of Elections however, Bocanegra’s name is now labeled as, ‘Removed’. Of the nine candidates vying for Chicago’s 15th Ward Aldermanic seat, three have already been removed from the ballot and one more is still fighting off a challenge to his petitions. That leaves five candidates facing off for the open City Council seat. A visit to Alberto Bocanegra’s campaign Facebook Page reveals no comment or statement from the candidate regarding his removal.
John Beacham, PSL - 49th Ward
Speaking of preparedness, John Beacham of the Party for Socialism and Liberation has been running for 49th Ward Alderman for at least a year, maybe longer. He was the first candidate in his race to launch a campaign website. And he led teams of signature gatherers in his north side Chicago Ward to collect enough ballot access petition signatures to guarantee his inclusion on next month’s Election ballot. But as of today, the Chicago Board of Elections shows Beacham’s status as, ‘Removed’.
Six candidates filed petitions to run for the 49th Ward City Council seat. Of them, four have already been removed, leaving only one opponent to challenge the incumbent Alderman. The Party for Socialism and Liberation’s John Beacham is not one of them. Curiously, both Beacham and the Green’s Bocanegra were assigned ballot spot ‘punch numbers’ by the Board of Elections. That means they made it through the first round of candidate removals before line numbers are assigned.
Also like the Green Party’s removed candidate, PSL’s John Beacham has no public statement available on his campaign website responding to his removal. The 49th Ward activist was recently in Ferguson, Missouri on the front lines of the Mike Brown and anti-brutality protests. With the Green’s Bocanegra being a three-time Aldermanic candidate and PSL’s Beacham being one of the most active opposition leaders in Chicago, it’s safe to say the city hasn’t seen the last of either candidate or their Parties.
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