The 2023 municipal elections are still more than six months away, but a first wave of candidates for office has surfaced with the Riverside Community Caucus announcing six people who are looking to gain the organization’s endorsement before they begin to collect signatures this fall to get on the ballot.

In April 2023, Riverside voters will be asked to select three village trustees. Two of the three incumbents – Cristin Evans and Alex Gallegos – are seeking second terms as well as the Caucus’ endorsement. 

Incumbent Edward Hannon told the Landmark he is not seeking re-election.

“When I went in, the plan was to do one term, and I feel like we really accomplished a lot in these four years,” said Hannon, who listed some top initiatives as approving the concrete walking path in Swan Park and the board’s focus on economic development, including the Sherwin Williams deal and the sale of land in the 2700 block of Harlem Avenue to pave the way for a cannabis dispensary. 

“I think those will help the village have a vibrant financial future,” Hannon said.

In addition to Evans and Gallegos, four others seek the Caucus’ endorsement. They include Michael Henaghan, a newer Riverside resident who works as a tax attorney and whose wife, Jennifer Henaghan, is a member of the Riverside Planning and Zoning Commission, and Alex Layng, a Riverside native and 2015 college graduate who works as manager of strategic projects for a firm called RadarFirst and is the son of Karen Layng, who formerly chaired the Riverside Plan Commission, and Patrick Layng, a longtime member of the Riverside Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

Also, seeking endorsements are Derrick Mancini, a longtime village resident, retired scientist and owner of Quincy Street Distillery who formerly served on the Riverside Cable Commission, and Jill Mateo, a biology and psychology professor at the University of Chicago who is the chairwoman of the Riverside Planning and Zoning Commission and the wife of Ben Sells, who served as village trustee from 2007-13 and president from 2013-21.

The Riverside Community Caucus has posted candidate profiles and detailed responses to a questionnaire on its website

A prospective candidate forum, which will be open to the public, is scheduled to take place on Oct. 2 at the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road. No time has been announced yet. Following the public forum, Caucus members will privately vote for three candidates to endorse.

Typically, those endorsed by the Caucus form a slate and seek petition signatures collectively.

However, those not endorsed by the Caucus have the option to run an independent campaign, setting up a potential contested election. That’s been rare for Riverside as there have been only two contested municipal elections – in 2001 and 2009 — since the year 2000.

Candidates can begin to collect petition signatures on Sept. 20, with petitions to be filed with the Cook County Clerk’s Office between Dec. 12 and 19. There will also be elections for Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208, Riverside School District 96 and the Riverside Public Library Board of Trustees.