Chicago holds a non-partisan municipal election in February, with run-offs in April. This year 79 candidates for Chicago city office (mostly alderman) had to fight off challenges to their nominating petitions. The Board of Elections has upheld approximately half the challenges, and some of those candidates are now suing to get back on the ballot. Mayor Richard Daley’s own petitions were challenged, but the challenges to his petitions were defeated.
Some of the major party presidential candidates have started making public appearances in Iowa. In particulary, Hillary Clinton just made her first public campaign appearance (as a presidential candidate) in that state. If you have an opportunity for a face-to-face conversation with a leading candidate for the presidential nomination of the major party, please ask that candidate to agree to at least one general election debate (should that candidate by nominated) with the top 4 or 5 general election presidential candidates, not just a two-person general election debate.
South Dakota State Senator Frank Kloucek will introduce a bill on January 29 to make it easier for parties to remain qualified in his state. And West Virginia Delegate Barbara Fleischauer has just introduced a bill (number not yet assigned) to move the minor party and independent candidate petition deadline from May to August (the presidential deadline is already in August).
On January 29, a bill will be introduced in the Vermont legislature to use Instant-Runoff Voting for one or two particular statewide state offices. The bill may have as many as 50 co-sponsors, and the bill is backed by the Secretary of State.
Two bills pending in the Colorado legislature would let any resident over the age of 18 circulate any type of petition. They are HB 1085 and SB 83. Current law does not let anyone circulate an independent candidate petition for district or county office (or, a petition to get a candidate on a primary ballot) if that circulator doesn’t live in that district or county.
Connecticut has three types of political parties. Qualified major parties nominate by primary; qualified minor parties nominate by convention; unqualified parties nominate by primary. Currently, Connecticut permits fusion for the first two types of party, although not the third type.
Connecticut State Senator Mary Ann Handley, Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, has introduced Proposed Bill No. 556, to outlaw all types of fusion. Her action is surprising, since she herself was the beneficiary of fusion in last November’s election. She received 20,969 votes on the Democratic line and 1,118 on the Working Families line; her only opponent received 14,064 votes solely on the Republican line. Although she didn’t need the Working Families votes in order to win, one would think she appreciated them.