Jesse Ruben Juarez is the 1st Ward Democratic Ward Committeeman. 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno is challenging the petitions of Jesse Ruben Juarez.
Juarez calls the action “frivolous.”
Juarez became the Committeeman when then 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores wanted the functions of government and politics separated, says Juarez.
“Manny’s a good man and he wanted me to run the political side. All the grassroots organizing and the day-to-day contact with voters. All the things that goes into running a political organizations. Election judges in place, that type of thing. So when Manny accepted the job with Governor Quinn and Proco Joe Moreno was named the alderman by Mayor Richard M. Daley, we all agreed that I would support Moreno for alderman and Moreno would support me for committeeman,” Juarez said. “But that is not what happened.”
The Chicago Reader reported at the time that Juarez held a fundraiser for Moreno upon his being appointed to the aldermanic post.
First Ward Democratic committeeman Jesse Ruben Juarez helped organize the cocktail reception and fund-raiser. He backed Moreno and Flores’s former chief of staff, Raymond Valadez, for the mayor’s appointment before jumping into the ring himself. Juarez told me the fund-raiser was in the works long before Daley picked Moreno.
“Now that he’s the leader of the ward, we added his name to it,” Juarez said.
The event also includes several politicians seeking higher office in the November general election, including Berrios, who’s running for county assessor, Preckwinkle, and state rep John Fritchey, the Democratic nominee for county commissioner of the north-side 12th District.
Juarez says that Moreno broke his word. Once Moreno was named the alderman, that was the understanding, according to Juarez.
“Then he challenges my petitions. But that’s what he does. He challenged Delgado (Senator William Delgado – D IL2) in 2008 and not only lost the petition challenge, but lost the election very handily for state senate. Then he challenges the two opponents for alderman in 2011 (Deborah Lopez and Ron Baltierra) and Moreno loses those challenges.” Juarez went on.
“He’s going to lose my petition challenge and from what I see will lose the Anne Shaw challenge (another candidate in the race) too. I have plenty of signatures and it appears she (Shaw) has more than enough to withstand the challenge. Like I said, frivolous.”
Alderman Proco Joe Moreno denied that his challenge is frivolous. He said he and his staff evaluated Juarez’s petitions and concluded that it is very close to not meeting the threshold number needed to survive a challenge. Close enough to warrant a challenge. And he added, “My petitions weren’t challenged because they are appropriate and correct.”
But Juarez disputes that it is even close. Juarez is considering a lawsuit against Moreno for Juarez term Moreno’s “frivolous” challenge to his petitions.
This race will be closely watched around the city (and in City Hall) and will be hard-fought by all three candidates.
In Jesse Ruben Juarez you have the accomplished organization man who has the backing of many political heavyweights including Joseph Berrios.
In Alderman Proco Joe Moreno you have the upstart, hipster alderman who manages to get into “hot water” often and who prides himself on that fact.
In Anne Shaw you have the community leader and community organizer who is determined to reverse the City Council decision to close the 13th District police station, making her first stab at elective office.
These factors should make turnout higher than normal. Combined with the possibility of competing ward maps (Latino Caucus and Black Caucus maps) on the ballot, should further fuel the turnout.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon.