A drawn-out objections process in the 28th Ward alderman’s race came to a close this week, with two more candidates emerging victorious and cementing their place on the Feb. 22 ballot.
That brings the total number of candidates vying for the four-year term on the Chicago City Council seat to four:
- Carmelita Earls, commander of operations for the Chicago Fire Department’s Training Academy
- Jason Ervin, the village manager of Maywood and longtime aide to former Ald. Ed Smith
- William Siegmund, a bar manager and former aldermanic candidate
- Michael Stinson, pastor of the First General Assembly Church in Englewood.
Officials at the Chicago Board of Elections overruled objections late Tuesday against Earls and Stinson, whose attempts to get on the ballot had been held up by appeals. The objector against both candidates – Eileen Jackson, a staffer for former Ald. Ed Smith – argued, among other claims, that both candidates were ineligible for office because they owed money to the city of Chicago.
The most severe of the objections against Earls focused on an alleged tax debt to the Cook County Assessor’s office. Earls said she failed to remove her “home exemption status” from her home when she moved four years ago.
“It was an oversight, and they presented it as I was trying to defraud the city,” Earls said, adding they were “28 frivolous charges. Just a bunch of nonsense to keep me off the campaign trail.”
Elections officials overturned the tax claim, finding that a debt to the county shouldn’t keep a candidate from running in a city election.
The most effective objection against Stinson claimed that he owed more than $600 in parking tickets to the city. But election officials overturned that claim as well, finding that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the parking tickets belonged to Stinson.
According to hearing documents, Stinson told the election panel that he has not owned a car for 10 years. Stinson did not immediately respond to requests for comment this week.
Elsewhere in Austin, eight candidates have been approved for the ballot in the 29th Ward race, including the newly appointed incumbent Deborah Graham. Six candidates are running in the 37th Ward, including longtime Ald. Emma Mitts.
Candidates must receive 51 percent of the vote on Feb. 22 to avoid going into a run-off election April 5.
Objection hearings are still ongoing in wards throughout the city. Click here for the most up-to-date list.