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14 Candidates File Petitions In Race For Mayor

CHICAGO (CBS) - Monday was the final day for candidates to file for the upcoming city election. The doors just closed. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine spent the day watching the comings and goings.

There's now more than a dozen in the race for mayor. We were expecting nine candidates total. But now there are 14 officially having filed petitions as candidates to replace Richard M. Daley in February.

Seven new candidates made it under the wire; including the renter who refused to move out of Rahm Emanuel's house when he decided to come back and run. Though Rob Halpin says he's not doing this just to mess with Emanuel.

"You finally have someone who is an outsider, who's not a professional politician, to take a crack at running the city, and I think I'll do a good job," said Halpin.

Also filing today, with a whopping 40,000 signatures, was community organizer Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, who is already running campaign ads on cable TV.

"I'm not a career politician. I'm a person who's out here working every day to help people improve their lives," she said.

State Sen. James Meeks, like Rahm Emanuel last week, sent attorneys Monday to file 50,000 signatures.

So for those keeping score, candidates for mayor are: Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, Danny Davis, Rev. Wilfredo De Jesus, Miguel Del Valle, Rahm Emanuel and James Meeks.

And seven others, all who are first-timers, not household names, and who may or may not have enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

We expect to see some of the 14 candidates fall away as the legal challenges are decided by the Board of Elections.

A candidate needs 12,500 valid signatures. Most consider it safe to file at least double that number to survive the challenges.

Also at the last minute today, Ald. Sandi Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr.'s wife, filed petitions for both alderman and city clerk. She says she'll make a decision on which race she'll enter after Thanksgiving.

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