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After Santa, the election comes to town: Editorial

Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially kicks off his re-election campaign at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. | Richard A. Chapman / Sun-Times

Much of the campaigning for mayor and City Council is operating in the trenches at this point, away from public view. But the Feb. 24 election is a mere two months away. It could easily sneak up on a distracted voter.

The trench warfare has been intense. At the Chicago Board of Elections, a legal debate has rage over whether a candidate should be tossed off the ballot because his pages of voter signatures might not have proper binding. In some wards, candidates — worried about having enough valid signatures — are racing to get affidavits from voters saying they did in fact sign petition sheets. Opponents are hurrying to get there first to persuade those same voters to say they didn’t. The right to remain on the ballot hangs in the balance.

EDITORIAL

On Friday, several candidates were disqualified because they didn’t meet all the finer points of election law. Others survived challenges. More challenges remain to be adjudicated.

In many wards, the struggle over who will appear on the ballot carries on. But for many voters, this is a quiet segment of the race, when they are focused on families and the holidays.

That sounds about right. But before Chicago Christmas trees even begin to come down, these races will have shifted into high gear. Many important issues affecting the city are at the heart of these campaigns, with the competition fierce in several ward races.

Enjoy the holidays, but don’t forget about what comes next.

— The Sun-Times Editorial Board