1st Ward Committeeman slot still a mystery for March ballot

Date: 
02/05/2020
WHO

It is still a mystery, two weeks before early voting polls open for the March 17 elections, as to what names will be eligible to be counted on the ballot for the 1st Ward Committeeperson. 

The position is a volunteer one that runs for four years. 

Two people have registered to be a write-in, another is looking to be "restored" to the ballot via the courts. For write-in votes to be counted in the voting totals, the candidate must be registered. 

Lauren Young Weber, who registered first, is kicking off her campaign and providing volunteer training on Sat., Feb. 8, in the Six06 Café Bar, 1641 W. Chicago Ave., between 1 and 3 p.m. "

"When I decided to run for committeeperson, it was because of my commitment to the community I live in. I am running a true grassroots campaign, with the help of neighbors and residents of the 1st Ward, to ensure that this position is held by an independent Democratic voice, and not tied to current or former elected officials." 

Daniel La Spata, 1st Ward Alderman, who registered Monday, says that his campaign is going to be very grassroots oriented, reaching voters through house parties and door-to-door canvassing. "It's the best way to both convince voters and model how you would work as committeeman," he says.  

Jay Ramirez says that he has a plan in place that requires him being "restored to the ballot, but it is centered around electing the endorsed candidates of the Democratic Party rather than just my race." 

Ramirez is expecting to have a ruling this week regarding a lawsuit that claims he had enough votes because the number of votes to qualify should actually be less than the 1,032 all candidates were judged by. Initially he also argued petition signatures of non-residents of the ward should be counted but that was dropped.

How does this work?
No one qualified to be placed on the ballot as of this time. To be elected, the person must have the highest vote count on the March 17 ballot. Registered write-ins must get at least 1,032 votes (the requirement to get on the 1st Ward ballot that none of them achieved) to win.

If no one wins via the March 17 ballot, the 1st Ward Committeeperson will be determined via the Democratic Party structure. 

"The 79 other ward and township committeepersons will have to vote to confirm a new 1st Ward Committeeperson at the full meeting of the party in April," explains Jacob Kaplan, Executive Director, Cook County Democratic Party. "We appreciate anyone who supports our endorsed candidates, but just to be crystal clear, the Party is not at all involved in the 1st Ward Committeeperson race."

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