PILSEN — Despite objections to his petitions, aldermanic candidate Byron Sigcho Lopez will be on the 25th Ward ballot next month.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Board of Elections decided that Sigcho Lopez’s name should appear on the 25th Ward ballot, officially making it a five-person race. The other candidates — Alex Acevedo, Hilario Dominguez, Aida Flores and Troy Hernandez — did not face petition challenges and will also appear on the Feb. 26 ballot.
The race has been left wide open after veteran Ald. Danny Solis announced in November he would not seek re-election after more than two decades in office.
Last month, two objectors filed challenges against Sigcho Lopez’s petitions.
Objector Raul Hernandez argued Sigcho Lopez violated state law by changing his name in the last three years and failing to disclose the name change on his nomination petitions. Hector Villagrana also challenged Sigcho Lopez’s name on the nomination papers.
Raul Hernandez also filed an objection claiming Sigcho Lopez did not reside within the 25th Ward for at least one year prior to running for office.
On Tuesday, Chicago Board of Elections hearing officer Christoper J. Agrella ruled in Lopez Sigcho’s favor, stating that since his name appears as Byron Francisco Lopez on his birth certificate, he could use the name on his nomination papers. Lopez is his mother’s maiden name, Sigcho is his father’s last name.
Agrella also ruled Sigcho Lopez was a lawful resident of the address on his nomination papers.
Agrella dismissed Villagrana’s objection after he failed to appear for the case hearing on Dec. 10.
On Friday, Sigcho Lopez, former executive director of Pilsen Alliance, called the petition challenges “baseless allegations …conceived to take [his] resources and time away from the field.”
“I’m glad that we were able to continue [moving] forward without distraction,” he said.
Sigcho Lopez — who went by Sigcho in 2015 — was among the five challengers who ran to unseat Solis in 2015, but the longtime alderman narrowly avoided a runoff, capturing 51 percent of the vote. Sigcho was his closest challenger, garnering 18.6 percent of the vote.
The five candidates vying for the 25th Ward seat will now face off at a neighborhood forum Saturday morning in Pilsen.
This will be the first time the ward, which includes all or parts of Pilsen, the West Loop, the South Loop and Chinatown, will have a new alderman in more than 20 years.
The municipal election is Feb. 26. If no candidate in a aldermanic race receives a majority of votes, they’ll head to a runoff election April 2.
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