The Crusader Newspaper Group

Aldermen Dowell and Mitchell likely to be re-elected

Aldermen Pat Dowell (3rd) and Greg Mitchell (7th) will likely be re-elected in the city’s February 28 elections after their opponents were knocked off the ballot during the challenging round, according to the latest updates from the Chicago Board of Elections.

The developments come as election officials announce the start of Early Voting January 26 at two locations, the Voter Supersite at 191 N. Clark and Board Offices at 69 W. Washington, 6th Floor.

In the mayoral race, former Chicago Police Officer Frederick Collins was removed from the ballot, leaving nine candidates in the race, including seven Black contenders.

The 21st Ward, which initially had 14 aldermanic candidates, is down to just seven, after Justin Sawyer, Lawaco Toe and Patricia Tillman were knocked off the ballot when their petition signatures were contested.

Challenge round results released January 13 show that all of Dowell’s opponents, Don Davis, Alan “Al” Sargon Rasho and Jasmine Robinson were removed from the ballot. Robert L. Jackson and Laurence Olivier filed objections to their petition signatures, arguing they were from residents in the 3rd Ward and some were not genuine and contained missing addresses.

Dowell, who is seeking a fifth term representing parts of the South Loop, Bronzeville, Washington Park and Englewood, told the Crusader that she took time away from her job to decide whether to run again in 2023.

On Friday, January 6, election officials sided with objector Nathaniel Moore and removed Jocilyn Floyd and Anthony “Tony” Blair from the ballot of Chicago Elections on February 28.

Election officials agreed with Moore that Floyd was not qualified as an aldermanic candidate because she did not live in the 7th Ward. In her filing papers, Floyd listed her address at Waters Edge high rise apartments at 7251 S. South Shore Drive.

Contacted by the Crusader after she was removed from the ballot, Floyd sent a text, saying, “Let’s have coffee. I want to explain what happened to me.”

Floyd did not respond when the Crusader replied with text, asking her when she wanted the meeting to happen.

Last September, Floyd was scheduled to launch her campaign inside the clubhouse at the Waters Edge apartments. The event was abruptly cancelled without an official explanation, fueling doubts among Floyd’s supporters that she was a viable candidate.

Floyd was viewed as a potential threat to Mitchell, an ally to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who in her first months in office, sought to remove the “aldermanic prerogative,” which allows aldermen to control developments in their wards.

In 2021, Mitchell drew heavy criticism from five Black female businesswomen, whom he allegedly denied the opportunity to open new businesses in the 7th Ward. The highly publicized dispute, reported in the Crusader, on WVON and CBS2 Chicago, threatened Mitchell’s image among voters in the 7th Ward.

The women wanted to open, respectively, two daycare centers, a cigar shop and an event space. One woman, a Realtor, said she has lost at least $150,000 trying to get an “access to alley” letter needed to open her daycare center.

In 2022, Floyd told the Crusader she served as a mediator for the women in their complaints against Mitchell. The dispute was eventually resolved, and the women opened their businesses, but the damage to Mitchell’s reputation was done.

Floyd and other critics blamed him for the urban blight and boarded up storefronts in South Shore, once one of Chicago’s most desirable neighborhoods with flourishing businesses and affordable homes.

A professional mediator, Floyd recently mediated a dispute about the Pharaoh Gentlemen’s Spa, which was turned down for a key city permit in October amid rumors the business would actually be a strip club.

Blair, Mitchell’s other opponent who was removed, is a South Shore resident who owns Chicago Quick Signs in Greater Grand Crossing.

The Crusader was unsuccessful in contacting Blair; the Chicago Board of Elections did not list his email address or phone number.

According to his Facebook page, Blair’s campaign platform called for job opportunities, violence prevention and resources for “high-risk” residents ages 18 to 25 in the ward.

Blair was removed from the ballot after Moore argued that his petition signatures were from residents who did not live in the 7th Ward. Moore also alleged some of the signatures were forged, while others had incomplete addresses.

In 2015, Mitchell beat incumbent Natashia Holmes in a runoff after finishing second to her in the general election. In 2019, Mitchell was easily re-elected to a second term after beating two challengers. He grabbed over 66 percent of the vote in the general election over activist Jedidiah Brown and Charles Kyle.

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