Rep. La Shawn K. Ford

The race to replace former 29th Ward Alderman Deborah Graham as the 29th Ward’s Democratic committeeman has taken an unexpected twist after state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th) announced last week that he will run as a write-in candidate against 29th Ward Alderman Christopher Taliaferro, who is also vying for the position.

In a statement, Ford noted that he withdrew his candidacy after he realized that many of the petition signatures that were obtained on his behalf were invalid. Ford stated that he’d utilize the committeeman position to increase voter turnout during West Side elections.

He made the announcement to run as a write-in candidate at the same time that he unveiled a campaign to pass a “referendum defending voting rights.” 

Ford stated that he obtained enough petition signatures to place the referendum question — which asks, “Should the United States Constitution be amended to include an explicit right to vote?” — on the ballot for the 29th Ward in the March 15 Primary election.

At a meeting hosted by west suburban ministers last September, Taliaferro said he’s running for committeeman because “we need a strong political base in the 29th Ward and we also need a strong servant base in the 29th Ward.”