Evanston will be holding a primary election on Feb. 23, in the Mayor and Fifth Ward Aldermanic races, based on how the fields shaped up at the closing of filing yesterday, says City Clerk Devon Reid.

Mr. Reid said his determination that a primary election is needed for each of those races is based on a 1992 referendum that affirmed that process I the following year’s mayoral race.

Three candidates have filed to run for Mayor – Daniel Biss, Lori Keenan and Sebastian Nalls – triggering the necessity of holding of primary in advance of the general election.

In the Fifth Ward, four candidates have filed – Carolyn Murray, Bobby Burns, Tina Foster, and Rebeca Mendoza – necessitating a primary for that race.

In the Mayoral race, a candidate who receives 51% of the votes plus one in the primary will be declared the winner of the office, said City Clerk Devon Reid, whose office oversees local elections. Other sources suggest the successful candidate need receive only 50% of the votes plus one additional vote.

In the Fifth Ward race, the top two vote-getters will then go to a runoff in the April 6 Consolidated Election.

All 10 City Council members, the nine aldermen and the Mayor, as well as the City Clerk are up for election in the April election, which will determine the makeup of the Council for the next four years.

With filing ending yesterday, here is how the races shape up, barring a successful petition challenge.

The names appear in the order they are currently listed on the City Clerk’s site.

Ballot position will be determined through a Dec. 14 lottery for those races with multiple candidates who filed at the same time.

Otherwise, the ballot position will be determined by the order of filing.

The filings as they now stand:

For Mayor: Daniel Biss, Lori Keenan and Sebastian Nalls;

For City Clerk: Stephanie Mendoza and Jane Grover;

For First Ward: Judy Fiske (incumbent) and Clare Kelly;

For Second Ward: Peter Braithwaite (incumbent) and Darlene Cannon;

For Third Ward: Melissa Wynne (incumbent); Eric Young, and Nicholas Korzeniowski;

For Fourth Ward: Donald Wilson ;incumbent), Jonathan Nieuwsma, and Diane Goldring;

For Fifth Ward: Carolyn Murray, Bobby Burns, Tina Foster and Rebeca Mendoza;

For Sixth Ward: Katherine Trippi and Thomas Suffredin (incumbent);

For Seventh Ward: Eleanor Revelle (incumbent) and Mary Rosinski;

For Eighth Ward: Ann Rainey (incumbent), Matthew Mitchell, and Devon Reid;                           

For Ninth Ward: Cicely Fleming (incumbent).

Another candidate, Shelley Carillo, filed for Alderman on Nov. 23, the final day for filing, but did not specify a Ward.

Important dates listed by the Clerk’s office moving ahead:

— Nov. 30, the final  day for filing objections to nomination papers of candidates who filed during the filing period.

— Dec. 17, the final day to file a withdrawal of candidacy with the Clerk’s office and the last day for the local election official to certify candidates, offices and any referenda questions to the election authority.

— Dec. 24, the final day to file a notarized Declaration of Intent to be a Write-in candidate.

— Jan. 24, final day for filing petitions for referenda for the submission of questions of public policy with the local election authority.


The 1992 Referendum

In 1992, the voters of Evanston answered “yes” to the following referendum question that was put on the ballot by City Council:

“Shall the Mayor of the City of Evanston be elected in the following manner commencing with the election to be held in 1993 and thereafter: If more than two candidates for Mayor shall have filed for election, a primary shall be held and the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall stand for election in the Regular Election, Except if one candidate shall receive more than fifty percent (50%) of the votes cast at the primary, that candidate shall have been elected Mayor for a term commencing the first City Council meeting after the Regular Election?”

Thus, If more than two people have filed nominating petitions for Mayor, there shall be a primary and the top  two vote-getters shall move on to the general election, unless one candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, in which case that person is the winner.

Bob Seidenberg

Bob Seidenberg is an award-winning reporter covering issues in Evanston for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.