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Mayoral Race: Contenders Vs. Pretenders

Send Your Concerns To Jay Levine
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Mayoral Candidates

(clockwise from top left): Rahm Emanuel, Danny Davis, James Meeks, Miguel Del Valle, Carol Moseley Braun and Gery Chico are among the candidates for Mayor of Chicago in 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – There are now 20 official candidates for mayor of Chicago. All filed their petitions by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline, but not all will end up on the ballot. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine sorts out the contenders from the pretenders.

Mark Brown, in Tuesday morning’s Sun Times, calls most of them “dreamers, fools and schemers, not to mention spoilers and stooges.” They all say they’re quite serious about running; though the backgrounds of some aren’t what you expect.

The better known candidates went about their campaigning today. Gery Chico was endorsed by his former school board partner, Paul Vallas.

“You want to vote for somebody who has been there,” Vallas said. “Gery has been the go-to guy since I have known him.”

Chico is considered a definite contender, along with Carol Moseley Braun, Danny Davis, Miguel Del Valle, Rahm Emanuel and James Meeks.

Aside from Roland Burris, of the 14 others who filed their petitions, most have names unfamiliar to most Chicagoans.

Though political junkies might recognize William “Dock” Walls, who now calls himself the nano-technology candidate.

“It’s the process by which you make products that are cleaner, lighter, stronger and more precise,” Walls said. “And if we can make Chicago the world center of nano-technology development, which is gonna be 10 times bigger than Silicon Valley.”

Jay Stone, a hypnotherapist and son of Ald. Bernie Stone, filed just 250 signatures. You need 12,500 to qualify.

Roland Burris was told supporters were going to file petitions for him, but he never promised he’d run. Now we’re told, he won’t.

M. Tricia Lee is a comedian and children’s author. She posted a video stating: “As mayor, I promise to sustain the quality of life Richard M. Daley gave to you. And just once give you something better than Richie M. Daley gave.”

Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins describes herself as an evangelist.

Rob Halpin apparently wants Rahm Emanuel’s home and office. He’s the renter who refused to vacate Emanuel’s Ravenswood Manor residence when he returned to run.

North Side real estate developer Tommy Hanson has no political experience. Nor does John Hu, who’s also in real estate.

A Streets and San truck driver, a Water Department worker, and a West Side music producer also filed petitions. Two other candidates CBS 2 couldn’t contact at all.

It’s hard to say how many of the candidates will survive to the final ballot. But it’s fair to say that with all these candidates, the percentage of the vote to finish second and get into a run-off may be surprisingly low.

CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.

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