Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside voters got their first glimpse of who will be on the ballot come spring as the filing period for the April 9, 2013 election commenced Monday morning. Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Dec. 26 to file their nominating petitions for local office.
In both Brookfield and North Riverside, competing candidates for village president, clerk and trustees surfaced as the village hall doors opened.
Brookfield’s PEP Party, which stands alone as a political party in the village, filed papers for its entire slate — Kit Ketchmark, president; Cathy Colgrass Edwards, clerk; and Brian Oberhauser, Nicole Gilhooley and Michael Garvey, trustees.
PEP collected roughly 500 signatures on their petitions. And since they are the lone political party filing, their candidates will also be at the top of the ballot.
Meanwhile, three independent candidates filed in Brookfield on Monday morning. As expected, Bill Russ is running for village president, seeking to reclaim the office that he held from 2001-05 as a member of the now-defunct VIP Party.
While not on an official slate with Russ, two independent candidates for trustee are clearly aligning themselves with the former village president. Mitch Mierop, a former member of the Brookfield Special Events Commission in Russ’ administration, is running for trustee.
Mierop ran for trustee on a slate with Russ in 2005. Russ circulated nominating petitions for Mierop this fall.
Also aligned with Russ and Mierop is Daniel Gribben, who had a short-lived independent run for trustee in 2011. Gribben was tossed off the ballot that year due to deficiencies with his nominating petitions. He signed Mierop’s petition this year and had his petitions circulated by former VIP member and former trustee candidate, Doug Tremper, who also circulated petitions for Russ and Mierop.
Each of the independent candidates collected about 250 signatures on their petitions.
Michael Towner, who split with PEP in September to run as an independent for village president did not file papers on Monday. Instead, Towner told the Landmark on Monday afternoon that he is planning on filing his petitions on Dec. 26 along with independent trustee candidate Yvonne Prause, another former PEP member who served as a village trustee from 2007-11.
VIP, TAP file in North Riverside
In North Riverside, a lottery for ballot position will be held on Dec. 29, since candidates from the VIP Party and the Transparency and Accountability in Politics (TAP) Party filed petitions at the same time Monday morning.
VIP’s slate of Hubert Hermanek Jr., mayor; Kathy Ranieri, clerk; and Vera Wilt, Matthew Decosola and Joseph Mengoni, trustees, obtained about 550 signatures from throughout the village.
Meanwhile, TAP’s slate of Rocco DeSantis, mayor; Peter Culafic, clerk; and Marybelle Mandel, Annabelle Downs and Luigi “Gino” Labellarte collected about 300 signatures.
George Georgopoulos, who also has announced his intention to run for mayor, did not file papers on Monday. That is not unusual for Georgopoulos, who in previous elections filed petitions on the last day.
Caucus slate alone so far in Riverside
In Riverside, just one political party filed petitions on the first day. That party was the Riverside 2013 party, made up of candidates chosen by the Riverside Community Caucus.
The party showed a little muscle as well, turning in petitions with nearly 800 signatures on them. Riverside 2013 is running Ben Sells for village president and Patricia Julian Collins, Ellen Hamilton and Doug Pollock for trustee.
To date, the incumbent board majority, members of the Riverside Community Alliance, who were elected en masse in 2009, has made no announcement at all about fielding a full or even partial slate.
Village President Michael Gorman did not respond prior to press time to an email Monday asking about the RCA’s plans for filing petitions.