This isn’t going to work
Wednesday, Mar 9, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* This is a really dumb idea on the part of the name-changing candidate…
In an only-in-Illinois kind of way, Ashley Gott, treasurer of Williamson County in southern Illinois, faces a primary from… Ashley Gott.
Yes, that’s right. Treasurer Gott, a Republican man who was appointed to the office before winning it outright in 2020, is being challenged by someone with the same name.
But get this. Challenger Ashley Gott was known as Erin Perry until she changed her name on Jan. 6, according to the Williamson County Clerk’s office. What a move!
* This used to happen fairly regularly (particularly in Cook County judicial races when people would adopt Irish surnames), but then state law was changed way back in 2003…
If a candidate has changed his or her name, whether by a statutory or common law procedure in Illinois or any other jurisdiction, within 3 years before the last day for filing the petition or certificate for that office, whichever is applicable, then (i) the candidate’s name on the petition or certificate must be followed by “formerly known as (list all prior names during the 3-year period) until name changed on (list date of each such name change)” and (ii) the petition or certificate must be accompanied by the candidate’s affidavit stating the candidate’s previous names during the period specified in (i) and the date or dates each of those names was changed; failure to meet these requirements shall be grounds for denying certification of the candidate’s name for the ballot or removing the candidate’s name from the ballot, as appropriate, but these requirements do not apply to name changes resulting from adoption to assume an adoptive parent’s or parents’ surname, marriage to assume a spouse’s surname, or dissolution of marriage or declaration of invalidity of marriage to assume a former surname.
I called the county clerk and Gott/Perry initially filed petitions without noting her name change. She withdrew those petitions and filed another set with the required information. But “formerly known as” will be clearly labeled on her ballot line.