Despite a close ally’s attempt to get all challengers thrown off the February ballot, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney will have competition for the first time since he won the position in 2003.
Charles Schutt, a neighbor of and precinct captain for Tunney, filed objections to three people who submitted signatures to run against the alderman.
None of Schutt’s objections was upheld, but one candidate withdrew due to lack of money to fund a legal fight.
• Robin Cook withdrew his name from the ballot after Schutt’s attorney, Michael Kasper, raised objections to hundreds of signatures on Cook’s petitions. Cook told supporters that he did not have the funds to launch a vigorous objection against Kasper, whose work is reportedly funded by the Democratic Party of Illinois and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s PAC.
Rather, Cook reportedly took the necessary steps to become a write-in candidate for alderman. Yes, you have to register to be a write-in candidate.
• Scott Davis fought Schutt’s signature objections and won. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners ruled on December 19th that Davis had more than enough valid signatures on his petitions and Davis will appear on the ballot.
• Mark Thomas will also appear on the ballot after Schutt withdrew his objections to Thomas’ candidacy. Schutt had claimed that Thomas did not live in the 44th ward, despite generous online evidence to the contrary. Thomas has owned retail shops at Belmont and Clark, including the iconic Alley store, for decades.
As you might imagine, being a Chicago alderman for over a decade without a competitor has allowed Tunney’s war chest to grow wildly.
According to the authoritative Aldertrack, Tunney had $365,883 in his campaign fund as of Friday; Thomas had $75,170; and Davis’ fund sat at $10,718. Aldertrack does not report on Cook’s finances because his name will not appear on the ballot.
Among the monies flowing into Tunney’s coffers since mid-December are:
• The repayment of a $20,000 loan in 2008 to Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin
• $6,000 from members of the Labkon family, which owns General Iron
• $5,300 from Fred Eychaner, CEO of Newsweb, Inc,
• $5,000 from Cubby Bear owner George Loukas
• $1,812 from the city of Chicago for “overpayment on shared cost sidewalk program”
• $5,000 from the Illinois Hotel Motel PAC