DOWNTOWN — Toni Preckwinkle’s campaign is targeting women of color who are running for mayor, one of her challengers is contending.
Susan Mendoza, the state comptroller and a mayoral candidate, said in a statement that Preckwinkle, the Cook County Board president, is challenging the petitions of women of color and trying to get them removed from the ballot.
Of the 21 mayoral candidates, 12 have been challenged by various people, Mendoza among them. Lori Lightfoot, Dorothy Brown, Catherine D’Tycoon and Conrein Hykes Clark — all women of color — have also had their petitions challenged by Preckwinkle’s camp.
Two other women of color, Sandra Mallory and Amara Enyia, have not been challenged.
“… This bully move by Toni Preckwinkle is about one thing: knocking women of color off the ballot who are standing in the way of her self-coronation in February,” Mendoza said. “It’s shameful that the chair of the Cook County Democratic Party, the highest-ranking woman in county government, in the Year of the Woman and the age of Trump, would try to silence the voices of five women of color.”
Mendoza called on Preckwinkle to drop her challenges to the petitions of four other women of color.
Preckwinkle’s campaign only challenged the people whose petitions it thought “were deficient in various ways,” said campaign spokeswoman Monica Trevino.
“Everyone needs to follow the same rules to get on the ballot. We understand that this is a daunting process for candidates but it is the first test that every mayoral campaign must pass,” Trevino said.
Lightfoot, one of the candidates who has been challenged, was planning to file a motion to dismiss the petition signature challenge, saying she has more than enough signatures to make the ballot.
Lightfoot planned to speak at a news conference 11 a.m. Monday at the Board of Elections.
Mendoza objected to aldermanic candidates, including a woman, during a 1999 election in the 12th Ward, Preckwinkle’s campaign said. Mendoza was not a candidate in that election.