While his Senate pick was making his way to Washington—only to turn around and make his way back to a place he was actually wanted—Governor Rod Blagojevich set the dates for a pair of elections to determine who will fill the Fifth Congressional District seat recently vacated by Rahm Emanuel. So far 11 candidates have filed paperwork with federal election officials announcing their intention to run (though one of them, Blago sister-in-law Deb Mell, subsequently announced she’ll settle for her new seat in the state House instead). But that’s not the whole lineup: state rep John Fritchey is about to announce that he’s in, and at least a couple of Chicago aldermen and attorney/playwright Jay Paul Deratany have previously said they’re going for it too. 

Since it may be easier to keep track of who isn’t in the race than who is, here’s the prospective lineup as it we think it currently stands–along with a sampling of each candidate’s political philosophy or top priority, as expressed by their Web sites or their own mouths (and carefully chosen by Ben and me).

Cary Capparelli, son of northwest-side power broker Ralph Capparelli, PhD candidate in geography: “Geography provides a true insight to understanding environmental, geo-cultural, geo-economic, geo-political, and geo-social issues including global warming, world terrorism, and other relevant problems facing us.”

Jay Paul Deratany, attorney: “We’d like to bring some light to the back room deals.”

Jan H. Donatelli, airplane pilot: “An animal lover, Jan lives with two rescue animals—a dog and a cat—demonstrating her bipartisanship spirit.”

Sara Feigenholtz, state rep: “It’s time to abandon old ideas and models that simply haven’t worked.”

John Fritchey, state rep: “You have to pick and choose your fights. I chose not to fight this time. Who knows what’s gonna happen next time.”

Alexander Victor Forys, doctor: “Thanks to his parents’ strong belief in education, Dr. Victor Forys completed his early education, including playing soccer with the Chicago Eagles SAC.”

Tom Geoghegan, labor lawyer: “Unless we have government pick up the costs of pensions and health care, our companies can’t compete, and we’ll go on piling up huge trade deficits.”

Justin Oberman, former Department of Transportation official, son of former alderman Marty Oberman: “This campaign will be successful if individuals come together on its behalf.”

Patrick O’Connor, 40th Ward alderman: “There is an old axiom which states ‘you can’t fight City Hall,’ but City Hall’s power pales in comparison to the unfettered power of the press.”

Mike Quigley, Cook County commissioner: “Mike also objected to an attempt to restore free golf for commissioners, arguing that board members could inspect and monitor property without resurrecting a perk.”

Matt Reichel, peace activist: “I will not compromise on my determination to shut down the greater Middle East war of Empire, and I will not accept President-elect Obama’s message that we must deepen our entanglement in the disastrous and murderous war in Afghanistan.”

Eugene Schulter, 47th Ward alderman: “Alderman Schulter has always been concerned about the small businesses in his ward.”

Joey Vartanian, restaurateur, business owner: “Although this is my first time seeking public office, my success as a proven leader, business operator, and an extremely considerate neighbor will prove essential in the business of government.”

Charlie Wheelan, University of Chicago lecturer: “There are a lot of good things about tax cuts, but raising extra revenue is not one of them.”