top left to right: Willie Wilson, Toni Preckwinkle, Dorothy Brown, Amara Enyia. bottom left to right: La Shawn K. Ford, Neal Sáles-Griffin, Lori Lightfoot, Ja'Mal Green

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his decision not to run for a third term in 2019, it seemed like everybody and their mama threw his or her hat in the ring to replace him. The race for Chicago’s highest office quickly became a fun guessing game – with some even waiting for the politically active Chancelor Bennett, a.k.a Chance the Rapper, to launch his bid for mayor through a new Soundcloud release. 

On Monday the list of who’s actually running for mayor and other city elected offices got a little shorter. By Monday’s 5PM filing deadline, 21 mayoral candidates had turned in their paperwork to add their names to the Feb. 26 ballot. For the city’s aldermanic races, 211 candidates filed their paperwork.

Each candidate’s paperwork included stacks of at least 12,500 signatures from registered voters in Chicago, a requirement to officially run for office. For the next month or so, according to the Chicago Tribune, candidates will spend time trying to knock each other out of their respective races by citing forgery, fraud, and other minor issues surrounding the signatures.

So, there’s a possibility that the number of candidates running for mayor and alderman may dwindle before February’s general election. But it still doesn’t hurt to see who’s Black and on the list right now.

Outside of the mayoral seat, one of the most contested races this upcoming election is the South Side’s 20th Ward, an open race since Ald. Willie Cochran isn’t running again. This summer Cochran, who’s been indicted on federal bribery charges, referred to himself at his Chicago Black Caucus cohort as “gangsters” at their annual fundraiser. 

Another interesting race is the 37th Ward on the West Side. The incumbent, Ald. Emma M. Mitts, caught a lot of heat for her support of Emanuel building a new $95-million police and fire training academy in her ward.

For a glimpse at some of the Black mayoral candidates*, and candidates running within the 18 Black Caucus wards, look below.

To lookup your ward and alderman, click here.

Mayoral Candidates

  1. Willie Wilson, businessman
  2. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
  3. Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown
  4. Austin Chamber of Commerce Director Amara Enyia
  5. State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford
  6. Neal Sales-Griffin, tech entrepreneur
  7. Lori Lightfoot, former federal prosecutor
  8. Ja’Mal Green, activist 

Aldermanic Candidates | South Side

3RD WARD:

  • Patricia “Pat” Dowell (Incumbent)
  • Alexandria Willis
  • Lealan M. Jones
  • Andre S. Love
  • Darva Watkins

4TH WARD:

  • Ebony D. Lucas
  • Sophia King (Incumbent)

5TH WARD:

  • Leslie A. Hairston (Incumbent)
  • William Calloway
  • Gabriel Piemonte
  • Shelly Quiles

6TH WARD:

  • Roderick T. Sawyer (Incumbent)
  • Richard A. Wooten
  • Deborah A. Foster – Bonner

7TH WARD:

  • Gregory I. Mitchell (Incumbent)
  • Charles Kyle
  • Kim Curtis
  • Flora “Flo” Digby
  • Clarence Davidson
  • Sharon “Sy” Lewis
  • Jedidiah L. Brown

8TH WARD:

  • Michelle A. Harris (Incumbent)
  • Jewel R. Easterling-Smith
  • Linda Hudson
  • Sherri Bolling
  • Faheem Shabazz
  • Dionte Lawrence
  • Harold Bailey

9TH WARD:

  • Cleopatra Watson
  • Anthony A. Beale (Incumbent)
  • Marcia Brown-Williams
  • Essie Hall
  • Rachel Williams
  • Paul Collins

16TH WARD:

  • Kenny C. Doss II
  • Stephanie D. Coleman
  • Toni L. Foulkes (Incumbent)
  • Latasha M. Sanders
  • Jeffrey L. Lewis
  • Eddie Johnson III

17TH WARD:

  • David H. Moore (Incumbent)
  • Raynetta Greenleaf

18TH WARD:

  • Chuks Onyezia
  • Derrick G. Curtis (Incumbent)

20TH WARD:

  • Nicole J. Johnson
  • Jeanette B. Taylor
  • Maya Hodari
  • Kimetha Hall
  • Charles Hilliard
  • Clifton Pierce
  • Sheila R. Scott
  • Jennifer O. Maddox
  • Anthony Drive, Jr.
  • Quandra V. Speights
  • Dernard D. Newell
  • Andre Smith
  • Cassius L. Rudolph
  • Kevin M. Bailey
  • Matthew Johnson

21ST WARD:

  • Howard B. Brookins, Jr (Incumbent)
  • Julius Modeliste
  • Marvin McNeil
  • Patricia A. Foster
  • Joseph C. Ziegler, Jr

34TH WARD:

  • Carrie M. Austin (Incumbent)
  • Preston Brown, Jr.

Aldermanic Candidates | West Side

24TH WARD:

  • Creative Scott
  • Michael Scott, Jr (Incumbent)
  • Toriano A. Sanzone
  • Traci Treasure Johnson
  • Edward Ward
  • Patricia “Pat” Marshall
  • Larry G. Nelson

27TH WARD:

  • Walter Burnett, Jr (Incumbent)
  • Cynthia D. Bednarz

28TH WARD:

  • Miguel Bautista
  • Jason C. Ervin (Incumbent)
  • Jasmine Jackson
  • Theresa Rayford
  • Justina L. Winfrey
  • Beverly Miles

29TH WARD:

  • Dwayne Truss
  • Chris Taliaferro (Incumbent)
  • Gayinga Washington
  • Zerlina A. Smith

37TH WARD:

  • Emma M. Mitts (Incumbent)
  • Tara Stamps
  • Deondre Rutues
  • Otis Percy

*Five of the 21 mayoral candidates haven’t created campaign websites, committees or raised any campaign money.