Despite ongoing conflict regarding her legitimacy as a candidate, challenger Andrea Raila’s name will ultimately join those of incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios and Fritz Kaegi on the March primary ballot.
The Cook County Electoral Board voted to kick Raila off the ballot last week, but her Circuit Court appeal at deadline on Tuesday coincided with the Cook County clerk’s deadline to ready ballots for print.
Cook County Clerk spokesman Nick Shields said if the board’s decision is overturned, nothing will happen and voters will have three options for assessor. If the board’s vote is held up in court, voters will be given a notice that Raila is disqualified as a candidate, although the candidate could still appeal that decision in appellate court.
“How we’re proceeding so far is because we’re following the law and what the law says,” Shields said. “The campaign had every right to file that appeal and we’re following the law in terms of what comes next.”
Raila’s name on the ballot is a potential boon for Berrios, who has been under fire for how his office’s evaluation of properties impacts low-income homeowners versus wealthy property owners.
The conventional wisdom is that a multi-candidate field is more likely to split the opposition vote, giving Berriosa better shot at victory.
The Electoral Board earlier ruled Raila’s campaign had “engaged in a concerted, intentional pattern of fraud, both as to circulation, as well as notarial acts.” Raila said she’s not considering another appeal if she is ultimately disqualified.
“That’s not a reality, my name is on the ballot, that is the reality, and 23,000 people that signed petitions expect to see me on the ballot and many of them are voting for me today,” Raila said.
Representatives for Berrios declined to comment. Kaegi’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment.