By DOUG IBENDAHL • October 12, 2011
All 50 Republican Ward Committeemen in Chicago will be elected at the Primary Election on March 20th.
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 2014.)
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 signatures of fewer than 30 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 6th. The last day to collect petition signatures is December 5th.
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 8% of those same electors. Signature requirements for each Ward may be obtained from the Chicago Board of Elections here. (See page 7.)
File Nominating Papers: The filing period begins November 28, 2011, and ends December 5, 2011. The following documents must be filed with the Cook County Clerk:
Ward Committeeman Primary Petitions (Must be numbered, bound, and notarized)
Loyalty Oath (Optional)
Download a copy of the Illinois State Board of Elections 2012 Candidate’s Guide and the 2012 Election and Campaign Finance Calendar. The 2012 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.