Attorney Jerry Joyce takes first spot on crowded mayoral ballot

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Jerry Joyce. | Tina Sfondeles

Attorney Jerry Joyce will appear first on the crowded ballot for Chicago’s mayor in the February election — with former aldermanic candidate John Kozlar taking the final position following a ballot lottery on Wednesday afternoon.

The lottery was extended to candidates who filed their petitions “simultaneously” on Nov. 19, and for those who filed last on Nov. 26. Their names were placed in a lottery box and spun in prescription bottles in the basement of 69 W. Washington St.

Rounding out the top of the Feb. 26 ballot was Joyce, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, philanthropist and businessman Willie Wilson, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and activist Catherine Brown D’Tycoon. D’Tycoon, however, must survive several ballot challenges to stay on the ballot.

Candidates’ names were placed in a ballot lottery box and spun in prescription bottles in the basement of 69 W. Washington St. | Tina Sfondeles

Candidates’ names were placed in a ballot lottery box and spun in prescription bottles in the basement of 69 W. Washington St. | Tina Sfondeles

The top spot is a boost to Joyce’s campaign as he tries to differentiate himself in a packed field. There are 21 declared candidates vying to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel — and 13 of them are facing petition challenges, according to the city’s Board of Elections.

Candidates also jockeyed for the last spot on the ballot. Kozlar pulled the last spot, with community activist Ja’Mal Green, former Ald. Bob Fioretti, former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot and entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin to appear above Kozlar should they survive petition challenges.

“We wanted to be first because the experts say that’s worth a point or two or three on Election Day, and in a close election like this, any point counts,” Joyce said. “…With so many people in the race, we’ll take any luck we get.”

Joyce is among many candidates challenging the signatures of others, including those of former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley.

Hearings on the objections begin on Dec. 10 and are open to the public.Candidates for mayor need signatures from 12,500 registered Chicago voters to earn a spot on the ballot. Most try to submit petitions containing at least three times that many to withstand any legal challenge.


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