By DOUG IBENDAHL • October 12, 2015
All 50 Republican Ward Committeemen in Chicago will be elected at the Primary Election on March 15, 2016.
Ward Committeeman is an unpaid, volunteer Party position. The position is similar to that of a Precinct Committeeman in counties outside of Cook. The only substantive difference is that many more voters are represented in a ward, which includes multiple precincts. (It’s also a 4-year term, as opposed to a 2-year term for Precinct Committeeman in all the other counties.)
Cook County is unique in that it is the only county in the state where Republicans and Democrats do not elect Precinct Committeemen. Instead each party elects 50 Ward Committeemen and 30 Township Committeemen. (Township Committeemen are not up for election again in Cook until 2018.)
Just like Precinct Committeemen, Ward Committeemen are the Party’s frontline ambassadors.
The need for dedicated and honest candidates for this important Party post is greater than ever. Republicans will keep losing winnable statewide elections until a more serious effort is made in Chicago.
Running for Ward Committeeman in Chicago is relatively easy. In over half the wards, candidates for Republican Ward Committeeman need the valid petition signatures of fewer than 150 registered voters in the ward to get on the ballot.
If you are a principled Republican and a resident of Chicago who is seriously interested in building the GOP – as opposed to just collecting a title – consider running for Republican Ward Committeeman.
HOW TO RUN FOR THE OFFICE OF REPUBLICAN WARD COMMITTEEMAN IN CHICAGO
MEET THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
• Must be a United States citizen.
• Must be 18 years of age.
• Must currently be a resident and registered voter of the applicable ward.
GET ON THE BALLOT
Form of Petition. Fill out the Ward Committeeman Primary Petition and print the completed form.
Circulate Petitions. The petition circulation period began on September 1st. The last day to collect petition signatures is November 30 (also the last date to file your petitions).
HELPFUL TIP: Be the first to sign your Petition! You can sign your own petition (as a registered voter) and circulate your own Ward Committeeman Candidate Petition.
Meet the Signature Requirement. Ward Committeeman Petitions must contain no less than the number of signatures equal to 5% of the Republican primary electors of the Ward, but no more than 16% of those same electors (or 50 more than the minimum, whichever is greater). Signature requirements for each Ward may be obtained from the Chicago Board of Elections here. (See page 8.)
File Nominating Papers: The filing period begins November 23, 2015, and ends November 30, 2015. The following documents must be filed with the Cook County Clerk:
Ward Committeeman Petition (All petition pages must be numbered; bound (staple or hole-punch/fasteners); and notarized.)
Statement of Candidacy (Also must be notarized. And note the referenced Statement of Economic Interests is NOT required for Ward Committeeman or any other party office.)
Loyalty Oath (Optional)
Download a copy of the Illinois State Board of Elections 2016 Candidate’s Guide and the 2016 Election and Campaign Finance Calendar. The 2016 Candidate’s Guide contains a helpful Frequently Asked Questions section.
If you still have questions regarding the process of running for Republican Ward Committeeman or the required forms, contact Doug Ibendahl at 312.648.0061, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.