(CBS) — And then there were nine—nine candidates who have filed petitions to challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel early next year.
Seven more challengers got in before Monday’s 5 p.m. filing deadline. They joined two others who filed when Emanuel did last week, when the period opened.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the field is not as crowded as it was four years ago, when 20 initially filed. Emanuel got 55 percent of the vote then to avoid a run-off. This time, his opponents feel he’s more vulnerable.
Here are the hopefuls, alphabetical order, who filed Monday:
–Amara Enyia, a lawyer with a PhD in education.
“It’s been made very clear that the people are ready for substantial change. They want a different kind of leadership that speaking a different language that resonates with the people,” she says.
–Ward 2 Ald. Bob Fioretti, a longtime mayoral critic.
Emanuel, he says, “hasn’t listened to the concerns of the people.”
–Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who has been endorsed by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.
“I believe the city is not headed in the right direction. We’ve heard from people all over the city of Chicago, and the fact that we submitted the highest number of nominating petitions underscores the change that people in the city’s neighborhoods of Chicago would like the city to take,” Garcia said.
–Robert Shaw, who served 22 years in the Chicago City Council under three separate mayors.
“Nobody in their right mind would close up 50 schools at one time and not consult the people of the community. This guy did,” Shaw says of Emanuel.
–William “Dock” Walls, a previous mayoral candidate.
–Willie Wilson, who rose from flipping burgers to running nine McDonald’s franchises.
“The city needs changes — you know, economically, school problems, public safety you know those kinds of things,” Wilson said.
Mayor Emanuel reacted to the new challengers.
“I look at it as running for the city’s future, not whether they’re running against me,” he said.
Filing along with Emanuel last week were Frederick Collins, a Chicago police officer, and perennial candidate Fenton Patterson. If their petitions survive expected challenges, a lottery will determine who gets the first spot on the ballot.
The mayoral election is Feb. 24. If necessary, a runoff election with the top two vote-getters would be held April 7.