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‘Tis the season for politics, too
Posted By Staff On November 18, 2009 @ 12:28 am In Online Exclusives | 1 Comment
By Stuart R. Wahlin
Brief election commission hearings were held Nov. 13 to evaluate objections to the candidacies of three Democrats for the February 2010 primaries, but little was decided. The commission will reconvene Nov. 19 to decide the matters.
Republican Randy Sturm, Cherry Valley Township supervisor, is challenging Sheriff Richard Meyers’ (D) candidacy, alleging the sheriff’s petitions were not properly notarized.
No other Democrats have filed to run against Meyers in the primary.
Dan Lewandowski, chairman of the Winnebago County Democrats, said Sturm lacks standing to file the objection because he is not a Democrat. Lewandowski called Sturm’s objection “petty.”
“Sheriff Meyers obviously adhered to the requirements to sign his paperwork in the presence of a notary public,” Lewandowski asserted. “The notary public, in fact, indicated he did so by signing and dating the paperwork. Not using the notary stamp is a minor error. The sheriff substantially complied as required by Illinois election law, and should remain on the ballot.”
Sturm, a former Winnebago County Board member, originally filed to run for the offices of sheriff and county board. Contrary to reports in the daily, Sturm withdrew Nov. 9 from a three-way primary for District 5, indicating the two offices are incompatible.
Wendy Owano (R-5), who was recently appointed to serve in place of Pete MacKay, who retired in June, is seeking to retain the seat. She’ll face Eugene Bolek in the Republican primary. The winner of that race will face A.C. “Dave” Davis (D) in the general election.
Sturm will instead focus on his bid for sheriff, but will face Aaron Booker in the Republican primary.
Regardless of how the commission rules Nov. 19, Sturm told The Rock River Times he anticipates the issue will escalate to the Circuit Court.
Democratic attorney John Nelson is representing Sheriff Meyers in the matter of Sturm’s objection, but objections challenging the candidacies of two other Democrats remain seemingly undefended by party lawyers.
In those county board races, according to a report in the daily, Democratic attorney John Nelson said the party simply has better candidates in mind. Lewandowski, however, denied the suggestion.
“The Winnebago County Democratic Party does not generally endorse candidates in a primary,” Lewandowski asserted. “The Democratic Party itself is not supporting any of the parties regarding the pending challenges. Attorney Nelson is providing representation on behalf of the individual parties who have retained his services.”
In District 1, the most sought-after seat in the primaries, Democrats seem to be backing Wendy Schneider. David Hassel, the only other Democrat vying for the nomination, is facing an objection from Jodelle Rae Thomas on the basis of allegedly illegible signatures, and that some signatures are allegedly not from registered voters.
The popularity of this particular race appears indicative of a possible conflict that could arise if incumbent Randy Olson (R-1) is hired as the chief pilot for the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition (LEAC)—a position that will be on the county’s payroll.
Meantime, Olson will face three fellow Republicans in February. They are Richard Sneath, Robb Firch and Lynne Strathman.
In District 8, Democrat Chuck Knight is challenging the candidacy of Nancy Edwardsen, who wants to face incumbent Mel Paris in the Democratic primary. In his objection, Knight alleges Edwardsen’s petitions don’t contain enough signatures. The Democratic nominee will face Republican Jenn Tate in the general election.
Democrats are taking a hands-off approach to other contested primary races, however.
In District 7, former Rockford mayoral candidate Gerald Albert is challenging incumbent Angie Goral for the nomination.
In District 12, Gary Crowley is running against incumbent George Anne Duckett.
On the Republican side, Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Jim Webster will try to get his foot back in the door of District 2. Webster, who lost his seat to Steve Schultz in the last primary, is running against incumbent Dave Yeske for the Republican nomination in 2010.
Other contested county races beyond February
In November 2010, incumbent Margie Mullins (D) will face Joe Terrell (R) for county clerk.
Also in the general election, Gary Jury (R) will try to win back the District 3 seat he lost to Doug Aurand (D) in 2006. Aurand, who also serves as Harlem Township Supervisor, seeks re-election to the board seat.
The battle between Democrat Carolyn Gardner and Ted Biondo (R-9) continues as the two compete for a county board seat in November 2010.
In September, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling by Judge Ronald Pirrello (D), who determined a special election should have been held for the seat, because the vacancy caused by Mary Ann Aiello’s (R-9) death left more than 28 months in the unexpired term.
Pirrello ordered that Gardner’s name be placed on the ballot. Because Biondo was advised there would be no special election, he did not file as a candidate, and his name would be absent from the special election ballot.
A last-minute appellate ruling on the eve of the election overturned Pirrello’s decision, and it was determined no special election would be held.
Democrats lauded the subsequent Supreme Court decision to uphold Gardner’s candidacy in the special election, but Biondo remains on the board. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 25 before Judge Pirrello.
Incumbent John Ekberg (R-10) is seeking re-election, but Democrat Chigozie Achebe also wants the job.
Incumbent Bob Hastings (D-13) will run against Republican John Guevara to retain his seat.
Isidro Barrios and Joe Hoffman are running unopposed for District 11 seats. Barrios was appointed after Karen Elyea stepped down upon her election to the Rockford City Council. Hoffman is seeking the board seat of wife Karen Hoffman (D-11), who is not seeking re-election.
Treasurer Sue Goral (D), Dave Fiduccia (R-4), Pearl Hawks (D-6) and Paul Gorski (D-5) are running unopposed for re-election.
From the November 18-24, 2009 issue
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
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