Peter Sifnotis is a former U.S. Marine and current undergraduate student who is running as a write-in candidate. Like Fuji, Pete lost his spot on the ballot because he was unable to overcome objections to signatures on his nominating petitions.
He is studying economics and has some strong ideas about revitalizing businesses in the ward, recognizing the “lost opportunities” of the past four years and the need for reform in the city’s services to businesses, such as streamlining the licensing process and lowering some fees. Like the other candidates, he offers no specifics for business development. A member of his high school debate team, he may present his ideas more effectively in candidate debates. None have been scheduled at this writing.
His campaign Web site also makes clear his opposition to pay- to-play politics. He, like Fuji, was unable to raise the money it takes to be a contender in a political world where the alderman has raked in nearly $500,000 in campaign contributions over the past four years. Money like hers buys armies of organizers, tens of thousands of campaign mailers, and endorsements from organizations that have little, if any, impact on ward residents.
This candidacy taught him much about the political process. Right now he is too inexperienced to be effective as an alderman, but he can begin to build for another run in four years.
NOTE: I helped him gather signatures for his petitions and tried to help organize his campaign, but felt that his being a full-time student prevented him from fully engaging in the work necessary to launch a serious challenge.