CHICAGO — Despite efforts to knock every other candidate out of the race — again — Ald. Jason Ervin won’t be the only name voters see on the 28th Ward ballot this time around.
The Chicago Board of Elections decided the names of three other candidates — Miguel Bautista, Jasmine Jackson and Beverly Miles — should appear on the 28th Ward ballot, officially making it a four-way race.
Every one of the five candidates who filed to run against Ervin faced petition objections — a political move where someone challenges the validity of the signatures and other paperwork a candidate files with the Election Commission to get on the ballot.
Petition objections filed against Jackson and Miles were overruled, and the petition challenge filed against Bautista was withdrawn, according to the Board of Elections.
Two other candidates, Justina Winfrey and Theresa Rayford, withdrew their names from the race after their petitions were challenged.
The objections were jointly filed by Austin resident Emma Jean Robinson and Garfield Park resident Gina Zuccaro. Robinson served as chief of staff to former 28th Ward Ald. Ed Smith, and was also paid $11,000 in 2011 as a consultant and to provide meals to Ervin’s campaign, DNAinfo reported in 2015. Before he was elected, Ervin was an aide to Smith.
Zuccaro also filed petition challenges against candidates running against Ervin’s wife, State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, who is running for Chicago treasurer.
In 2015, Ervin ran unopposed after petition challenges knocked off all seven of his challengers.
Robinson also filed objections to seven 28th Ward candidates in 2007.
Candidates have the ability to contest petition challenges and the Board of Election Commissioner’s decisions, but the process is expensive in both time and money, said UIC political science professor and former alderman Dick Simpson.
Candidate Jackson is running against Ervin for the second time; she was previously knocked off the ballot in 2015. At the time, the early childhood special education teacher at William Penn Elementary School in North Lawndale called the move “typical Chicago electioneering.”
It cost her more than $2,500 to hire a lawyer for the petition hearing this time around, Jackson said.
“That is … the disappointing part of running for office in Chicago,” Jackson told Block Club in December.
In a statement Monday, Ervin said he looks forward “to discussing the issues that are important to residents in ward.”
Ervin was appointed to Smith’s old seat in January 2011. A month later, he was elected to a full term as alderman. Challenged by William Siegmund, Ervin won the 2011 race with nearly 85 percent of the vote.
Prior to Ervin’s appointment, Smith held the seat for 27 years.
The 28th Ward includes parts of a collection of West Side neighborhoods including Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Little Italy, Little Village, Pilsen, Tri-Taylor, University Village and the West Loop.
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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