The municipal elections for the cities of Springfield and Chicago are approaching. The elections for Chicago will be held on February 26 with a run-off (if necessary) occurring on April 2. The consolidated primary for Springfield will take place on February 26, with the possible consolidated general election occurring on April 2.
The positions up for grabs in both cities include mayor, treasurer, clerk and the entire city council. In Chicago, the contest for the mayor’s office has expanded to include fourteen separate candidates since the previous two-term mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced his intention not to run. The candidates range from former United States Secretary of Commerce Bill Daley to Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. In Springfield, the mayoral field is much narrower with the competition consisting of incumbent Mayor Jim Langfelder challenged by former fire chief and alderman Frank Edwards. In Chicago, the race for treasurer is split between three candidates: Alderman Ameya Pawar, State Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin, and Peter Gariepy. In Springfield, the race is between the incumbent, Misty Buscher, and challenger Jennifer Notariano. In Chicago, the incumbent, Anna Valencia, runs uncontested to retain the post of city clerk. Meanwhile in Springfield, the clerk race is between incumbent Frank Lesko and challenger Rianne Hawkins.
In Springfield, early voting is open from January 17 to February 25 and voting by mail is available from January 17 to February 21. In Chicago, the deadline to apply to vote by mail passed on January 29 but in-person early voting is open through February 25. To register to vote in either Springfield or Chicago, one must be a US citizen, 18 years old, have resided in the district you are planning on voting in for at least 30 days, and not be registered or register to vote elsewhere.