Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign dropped its objection Wednesday to the candidacy of challenger Willie Wilson.
Emanuel’s campaign supported an effort to have Wilson thrown off the ballot for the February election, alleging “an astonishing pattern of deception” in Wilson’s nominating signature petitions.
But lawyers for Emanuel filed paperwork withdrawing their objection at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday, said James Allen, spokesman for the city election board.
Wilson, who is black, has alleged that racism motivated Emanuel’s challenge of his petitions.
Emanuel denied that, but Wilson’s lawyer, Frank Avila Jr., said last week that Emanuel fears going up against “a strong African-American candidate.”
Avila said Wilson had collected far more than the 12,500 valid signatures needed to appear on the mayoral ballot.
“I’m very happy, excited and elated that this fraudulent, racist, unconstitutional and false objection has been dropped,” Avila said. “It showed how scared Rahm Emanuel is of Dr. Willie Wilson.”
The most prominent challengers to Emanuel are Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and 2nd Ward Ald. Robert Fioretti.
“The Emanuel campaign has decided to discontinue it’s challenge of the petitions of Mr. Willie Wilson,” Emanuel’s campaign said. ” We look forward to his participation in this election as each candidate presents their ideas for moving our city forward for every Chicagoan.”