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Five-way Green primary to take place in Illinois; twenty six candidates in total

In Illinois’ fifth congressional district, over two dozen candidates have filed for the March 3rd primary.  The special primary and special election are being held to replace Rahm Emanuel, who will be moving from the House to the White House.  He will become Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff.

The five candidates are Deb Leticia Gordils, Mark Arnold Fredrickson, Alan Augustson (who was previously reported on here), Mathew Reichel, and Simon Ribeiro.  Only 30 signatures were needed to qualify for the primary ballot.

There are interesting political histories behind these candidates.  First, Deb Gordils challenged an incumbent, Dick Mell, for city council in Chicago’s Ward 33 who could not be unseated in 2003.  She is Hispanic and the district has a fast-growing Hispanic constituency.  Even though she was unsuccessful, garnering 13.75% of the votes in the non-partisan two-way race, it amounted to a Pyrrhic victory for the incumbent.  An ally of his was defeated because he had to focus on his own reelection instead of focusing on electing this ally.  Two cops even tried to take pictures her as a “representative of Mell’s,” and her video recording of this led to the defeat of one of the cops in a race for Alderman:

Gordils made headlines earlier when she confronted two uniformed police officers taking pictures of her and identifying themselves as Mell’s representatives.

“They said, ‘What are you looking for? What job can we get you? Do you want something with the Water Reclamation District? You only have to go to a couple of meetings,”” Gordils said.

Gordils turned her video camera on them. One was Chester Hornowski, who’s running against Ald. Tom Allen (38th).

As IPR has previously reported, Alan Augustson ran in the same district as a Green in November.  He got just over 9,200 votes – or 4% – with the Democratic winner getting over 170,000 votes, and the Republican getting about 50,000.

Another former opponent of Rahm Emanuel in the race is Mark Fredrickson, who ran against him in the 2006 Democratic primary and got about 9% of the vote.  Emanuel is a Democrat of the highest order – apparent from his recent appointment by Obama and being the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaigns Committee – so Fredrickson had an uphill battle to fight with his 2006 candidacy.  Emanuel is also infamous for being a vicious partisan and relentless fighter.

Candidate Matt Reichel is only 27 years, yet has some political experience.  He worked with the peace movement while in college, volunteered for political causes in France during graduate school, and in 2007 he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and worked for the Dennis Kucinich for President campaign.  After Kucinich conceded, he went to Ohio’s 10th congressional district to help re-elect the Congressman.

Interestingly, Simon Ribeiro is the nephew of former US Senate Alfonse D’Amato, who represented New York.  The following video was posted at Ribeiro’s campaign website:

This should be an interesting race, and we’ll keep you posted.


  1. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist January 20, 2009

    Very interesting. All seem like good people, if only they would be Democrats. Maybe this huge primary will birng good publicity to the Green Party, as long as the candidates focus on their different views of issues and don’t attack each other.

    God bless the state, God bless the church, God bless Barack Obama, amen

  2. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist January 20, 2009

    To clarify, Augustson was the 2008 Green Party candidate against Emanuel. However, I think Gortils might be the most qualified.

    It would be interesting to see what kind of relationship Ribero and D’Amato have. Is D’Amato secretly funding the Green Party and Naderites? Probably.

  3. Robert Robert January 20, 2009

    The Catholic Trotskyist is BATSHIT INSANE!!!!

  4. Alan Augustson Alan Augustson January 20, 2009

    Deb Gordils, if I understand correctly, identifies as “pro-life”. No way will Greens vote for a woman who’s against women’s reproductive rights.

    I also heard she didn’t know what “Peak Oil” was, when asked for a position.

    Fredrickson also showed a startling ignorance on a number of issues, when interviewed. He also is amassing copies of everyone else’s petitions, for purpose of harassing them with frivolous legal challenges. Good Democratic tactic, that.

    Matt’s got some chops, and some good positions. But his sudden appearance from nowhere, to challenge an established Green candidate with largely the same positions, feels suspicious to me. His apparently self-authored Wikipedia article was fun, though.

    Simon needs to run a spelling and grammar check on his website.

  5. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli January 20, 2009


    Quick note on your website: please get rid of the flashing buttons.

    Different people have different levels of tolerance for that, but I found them annoying enough to not want to look at your site for more than two seconds.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who has the same reaction to it.

  6. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli January 20, 2009

    From the front page of Ribeiro’s site


    25. 4. 08
    None Right Now
    There will be more news coming very soon

    Simon Ribeiro
    E-mail: umm..@ ???.com

  7. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist January 20, 2009

    Seriously? Ribero is a joke candidate.

    Alan, if that’s true that Gortils is pro-life, I will definitely be contacting her to join the Catholic Trotskyist Party. Now with the inauguration ceremony for Our Lord the Alpha and Omega, President Barack H. Obama II, and the earth-shattering prayer by Protestant Trotskyist sympathizers Pastors Rick Warren and Joseph Lowry, Catholic Trotskyism is the way of the future. Amen

  8. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist January 20, 2009

    Yes Alan, get rid of the flashing buttons. And also Alan, good job attacking other candidates, like I told you not to. This will ensure that the Green Party never gets anywhere and that the Democratic Party and Catholic Trotskyist Party will reign supreme, sharing power with the Republicans. You criticize Matt for running when you only got 4%? Matt would probably get more than that.
    I will be praying for Gordels though. She would definitely be interested in Catholic Trotskyism, I am convinced.

    And about Ribero, look at the Goals section. Someone else set up his website. Not a good decision by him.

    God bless the state, God bless the church, God bless barack Obama. Amen.

  9. inDglass inDglass January 20, 2009

    Based on his experience as an activist and his work with Congressman Kucinich, Reichel seems like the best guy. However, none of these candidates seem to understand what the constitutional role of the federal government is, nor what it realistically capable of. Reichel thinks it should regulate the amount of packaging for commercial products, and Augustson thinks the labor hour should be turned into the unit of exchange.

    Are there no libertarians in Chicago?

  10. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 20, 2009

    Have you ever BEEN to Chicago?

  11. Alan Augustson Alan Augustson January 20, 2009

    Attacking? I’d agree if I were talking about their personal lives, or some arbitrary quality (such as race, sex, veteran’s status, etc.).

    But to bring to light obvious deficiencies in their qualifications, positions, or other issues-related items, is hardly attacking. If anything, I’m doing Greens voting in the primary a service.

    But thanks for the advice on the buttons; I’ll give it a look.

  12. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist January 20, 2009

    Yes there are a lot of libertarians in Chicago, but most don’t identify as such.

  13. inDglass inDglass January 20, 2009

    Yes, I love Chicago, and I imagine it has plenty of libertarians. The question is, are they going to run for office? This 12-candidate field looks pretty sad so far. I hope the Chicago voters can get a remotely libertarian leaning option on the ballot.

  14. Ross Levin Ross Levin Post author | January 20, 2009

    inDglass – you mean the primary field? The LP hasn’t reached the party status that puts it on the ballot with only 30 signatures, like the GP (and DP and RP) has. That’s why there isn’t a Libertarian in this primary.

    I wonder if any Kucinich supporters will get involved in this race to help Reichel.

  15. Deb Leticia Gordils Deb Leticia Gordils January 21, 2009

    Thank you for providing insight into the many Candidates running for the 5th District vacated Congressional seat. I look forward to the many debates that lie ahead. All will be hard pressed to find a more determined woman to bring to the forefront issues related to women. Abortion is an issue that affects girls,boys and their families, not just at the time abortion is being contemplated but for years to come as they mature in later adulthood and finally reach the status and title of men and women. There is a vast difference between a girl and a woman, I’m appalled that some view our reproductive organs as one and the same.

  16. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 21, 2009


    Welcome to the site.

  17. Alan Augustson Alan Augustson January 21, 2009

    Well, believe it or not this forum actually provides helpful information now and then.

    I looked over my website and, sure enough, the darn thing looked too busy.

    I replaced the animated bullet with a static one and I think it helped rather a lot.

    Thanks! 🙂

  18. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 21, 2009

    We try! lol…

    I sure wish GE would show his face some more though.

  19. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli January 21, 2009

    I think he’s sick of party politics. That and he didn’t like opening up comments.

  20. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 21, 2009

    *shrug* it hasnt really brought problems…

  21. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli January 21, 2009

    Yeah, actually, so far it hasn’t changed much of anything. I thought we would get a lot more comments, but that’s hasn’t happened either. It’s pretty much the same way it was.

  22. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 21, 2009


  23. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary January 21, 2009

    Does anybody get a prize for being the 500,000 visitor to the site? It’ll be coming up in a couple of days.


  24. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 21, 2009

    It should be coming up in about a week…and I was actually considering it. But ran into two problems–how would I know who the 500,000th visit was…and what on earth would I give them?

  25. Green Ferret Green Ferret January 23, 2009

    I’ve been able to find websites for Reichel, Augustson and Ribeiro. Does anyone have more information about Gordils and Fredrickson?

  26. Matt Reichel Matt Reichel January 23, 2009

    I am glad to see constructive discussion about the upcoming primary and welcome any email inquiries at
    In response to Alan’s claim that me entering this race seems “suspicious,” I would like to clarify that I entered only after having been recruited by several active Green party members who were looking for a fresh, young voice to help energize the party.
    As far as help from Kucinich volunteers goes, my treasurer and political consultant are both veterans of Dennis’s presidential campaign, and I hope to ship in a team of Dennis interns in the next couple weeks to man the office and the pavement heading into election day.
    Lastly, I do have several Ron Paul people helping out in various ways with the campaign, and I have spent a great deal of energy reaching out to this valuable constituent base. I am anti-imperialist, anti-Wall Street bailouts and anti-Federal Reserve. I am also generally attracted to the energy and organizational capacity of the Ron Paul crowd, and feel a general resonance with their perception of the role of the citizen in a democracy.

  27. Lon Lon January 23, 2009

    Vote green or we will elect another machine hack.

    State Rep. John fritchey is a case study in the way the Chicago Machine works, yes the same machine Patrick Fitzgerald talks about all the time. Read the Tribune Neighborhoods for Sale investigation series and learn about State rep. john Fritchey. State Representative John fritchey is a zoning change lawyer. State Representative John fritchey is the nephew-in-law of City Council Zoning Chairman Bill Banks. John fritchey recently deposited $200,000 in Belmont Bank & Trust, telling the press they had the highest rate. Find out who is on the board of directors.

    State Representative John fritchey does not want you to know he is a corrupt zoning change lawyer and political operative. Google Fritchey, Castle and learn how Fritchey-Banks forced a zoning change that bulldozed a Chicago neighborhood.

    And remember, State Representative John Fritchey tried to force a Lincoln Park zoning change last fall without community input, as cited in the Chicago Reader on 12/13/07. He bypassed this step, filing directly with the city a request to change the zoning of a lot on the 1400 block of West Lill. When Alderman Scott Waguespack found out, he had to call Banks, State Representative John Fritcheys uncle-in-law, to ask him to hold the request until it could be brought before a neighborhood group. Fritchey dismisses the matter as an oversight. Learn the truth about “State Representative John Fritchey”

  28. Ross Levin Ross Levin Post author | January 23, 2009

    You have a shipment of Kucinich interns coming your way? I’m sorry but I have a hilarious mental image of you prying open a big box and taking out shiny, new, idealistic interns.

    Good luck with everything – sounds like both of you have an exciting campaign ahead of you.

  29. Alan Augustson Alan Augustson January 24, 2009

    >>Vote green or we will elect another machine hack.

    I don’t know what more need be said. Those are the process paths; that is the tautology of possibilities.

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