Chicago mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green and eight Black aldermen on Tuesday, December 6, won the coveted top spots on the ballot for the city’s mayoral and aldermanic elections on February 28, 2023, hoping to boost their chances in a crowded field of candidates.
During an open lottery at the Chicago Board of Elections, Green won the top spot after his No. 6 ball was picked by Max Bever, Director of Public Information at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Green’s name will be at the top of the ballot of 11 candidates vying to unseat incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot who won the 7th spot on the list.
The No. 2 slot on the mayoral ballot went to Alderman Sophia King. She is followed by Kam Buckner, Willie Wilson, Brandon Johnson, Paul Vallas, Lightfoot, Frederick Collins, Johnny Logalbo, Alderman Roderick Sawyer and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
A high-profile candidate, Congressman Garcia, who took Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the city’s first-ever runoff in 2015, received the last place slot, the second most desirable spot on the ballot. Last week Garcia announced that he received a $1 million contribution from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, following the influential trade union’s endorsement.
After winning the top spot, Green told ABC7 Chicago, “It means a lot when you have a crowded field, right? You know a lot of people who see all these names in the race, the first name that they see, you know, is going to help a lot.”
Alderman Sophia King said, “I’m No. 2 and things can happen,” adding, “and you can move up to No. 1, so I’m excited.”
Wilson said, “Well, I think my name is already out there, and people are going to search for who they want to vote for.”
Hearings on petition challenges will begin next Monday, December 12, and will be scheduled over the coming weeks. Election officials are hoping to have them all finished and have the ballots finalized by the first week of January, pending any court challenges. Green is among five mayoral candidates whose petitions are being challenged, including those of Wilson, Alderman Sawyer, 6th, former Chicago Police Officer Frederick Collins and Johnny Logalbo.
In the aldermanic races in Chicago’s Black wards, eight incumbent Black aldermen won the top spots on the ballots. They include Pat Dowell (3rd), Gregory Mitchell (7th), Michelle Harris (8th), Derrick Curtis (18th), Jeanette Taylor (20th), Monique Scott (24th), Jason Ervin (28th) and Chris Taliaferro (29th). Aldermen David Moore (17th) and Walter Burnett, Jr., who are running unopposed, automatically received the top spot and will be re-elected.
Political newcomers have won the top spots on the ballots in Black wards, where there are no incumbents in crowded races. They include Helen West (4th), Renita Ward (5th), Sylvester Baker, Jr. (6th) and Cornell Dantzler (21st).
Aldermanic candidates who received the second best spots at the bottom of the ballot in Black wards are Jasmine Roberson (3rd), Prentice Butler (4th), Wallace E. Goode, Jr. (5th), Kimberly “Kim” Egonmwan (6th), Jocilyn Floyd (7th), Linda Hudson (8th), Cameron M. Barnes (9th), Eddie Johnson III (16th), Heather Wills (18th), Andre Smith (20th), Kweli Kwaza (21st), Traci Treasure Johnson (24th), Shawn A. Walker (28th), Corey Dooley (29th) and Corey Denelle Braddock (37th).
Three incumbent Black aldermen will see their names second on the ballot. They include Anthony Beale (9th), Stephanie Coleman (16th) and Emma Mitts (37th).
The top spot in Beale’s race went to WVON radio host Cleopatra Draper, who began waiting in line three days before the Chicago Board of Elections began accepting petition signatures from candidates. The top spot on the ballot in Coleman’s Ward went to security officer Dr. Carolynn Denise Crump. In Mitts’ Ward, activist Howard Ray will hold the No. 1 spot on the ballot.