Saturday, January 11, 2014

Patton, Hannon withdraw from their judicial races; Electoral Board's actions yesterday clarify other pending races

Nichole C. Patton has dropped her bid for the Gordon vacancy on the Appellate Court, filing a notice of withdrawal earlier this week with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Also dropping out of her race for the countywide Reyes vacancy was Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon.

Patton's withdrawal leaves three candidates for the Gordon vacancy, Justice Shelly A. Harris, and Judges Susan Kennedy Sullivan and Freddrenna M. Lyle.

Hannon's withdrawal leaves slated candidate Diana Rosario in a likely one-on-one tilt with Stephen J. Feldman. A fourth candidate for the Reyes vacancy, Gregory LaPapa, was potentially removed from the ballot yesterday afternoon, when the Cook County Electoral Board sustained one of the two pending objections to LaPapa's candidacy.

Readers should keep in mind that actions of the Board are not necessarily dispositive; while review is not sought in many cases, candidates and objectors can and sometimes do seek review of the decisions of the Electoral Board in the courts.

With that in mind, in other action yesterday, the Cook County Electoral Board
  • Overruled the objection to Mary Beth Duffy's petitions to run for the Sterba vacancy in the 15th Subcircuit;
  • Overruled the objections to Judge Pamela McLean Meyerson's and Gina A. Crumble's petitions to run for the "A" vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit;
  • Overruled the objection to Judge Jerry Esrig's petitions to run for the Goldberg vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit; and
  • Sustained the objection to James I. Marcus's petitions to run as a Republican for the Jordan vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit.
The Electoral Board also assigned a couple of matters out to a hearing officer. Circuit Court hopeful Mary Alice Melchor (Neville vacancy) was a few hundred signatures safely above the minimum after the records examination, but the objector in that case is also pursing objections to the qualifications of a couple of persons circulating petitions for Melchor. If the objection is sustained to one of these circulators, Melchor's valid signature total will fall below the minimum required to appear on the ballot. The Electoral Board received testimony from that circulator Friday afternoon, in which she affirmed her residence at the address provided on her circulator's affidavit, providing copies of her voter's registration and driver's license to buttress that assertion. The matter was assigned to a hearing officer at the objector's request, with the objector reserving cross-examination of the circulator. While this objection may appear unfounded on the basis of the direct testimony received, there is another objection pending to Melchor's candidacy; there may, therefore, be some strategic reason for keeping this objection alive.

A closer question may be involved in the objections to Judge Allen W. Master's nominating petitions in the race for the Jordan vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit. Masters stands 88 signatures shy of qualifying for the ballot after the records examination, but the candidate's objections to the determinations of the records examiner (Rule 8 objections) were referred to a hearing officer.

The Electoral Board meets again on Monday afternoon.

No comments: