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Local elections news coverage roundup

Thursday, Dec 8, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Let’s start out with objections. WCIA

Two candidates in the upcoming mayoral election for Decatur are facing a pair of objections that could result in them being left off the ballot in April.

The petitions of Abeer Motan and Mary Williams are being challenged by two people from Decatur who said they were invalid for several reasons. Chief among them is that the petitions supposedly have signatures from unregistered voters.

City Clerk Kim Althoff said that each petition requires 85 signatures to be valid. Motan and Williams submitted 95 and 87 signatures, respectively, but the objectors claim that there are enough signatures from nonregistered voters to push Motan and Williams under the required 85.

Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe’s petitions, containing about 150 signatures, were not challenged. If Motan and Williams’ petitions are rejected, it would leave Wolfe running unopposed.


Three candidates who filed to run for the Macomb city council are having their nominating petitions challenged.

In one case, at large city council member Tammie Leigh Brown-Edwards filed a challenge to the paperwork submitted by A.J. Bauser. Brown-Edwards said it contains invalid signatures, the notary sections are blank, and the sheets are not numbered as required.

Bauser filed to run against Brown-Edwards.

The other candidate planning to run against Brown-Edwards, Don Wynn, had his petitions challenged by former McDonough County Voice Editor Michelle Langhout.

And in the third ward, new county board member Dana Walker is challenging the petitions submitted by Byron Oden-Shabazz.

In both of those cases, the complainants said the sheets are not numbered and stapled together as required.

* Naperville Sun

Naperville mayoral candidate Tiffany Stephens could be kept off the April 4 election ballot if an allegation that she does not meet the residency requirement is found to be valid.

Arian Ahmadpour, finance chair of the Will County Young Democrats, filed a challenge to Stephens’ nominating petitions this week as well as those submitted by Naperville City Council candidate Derek McDaniel.

In addition, Naperville council candidate Nag Jaiswal’s petitions are being challenged by Naperville resident Elizabeth Zega.

Naperville Electoral Board hearings for all three objections will start at 9 a.m. Monday in the Naperville Municipal Center council chambers.

* Shaw Local

A challenger running for the Crystal Lake City Council filed objections Monday to three other candidate petitions, including Mayor Haig Haleblian’s, arguing that they had several omissions and errors. […]

“When I first heard, I was confused: What did I do wrong?” Haleblian said. “But lo and behold, I left a critical piece of paper out of my packet. He [Kountz] got me. I’m going to have to work a little bit harder and different than I thought [to win the election] but that’s OK.”

Haleblian omitted a statement of candidacy and a receipt for filing a statement of economic interests, Kountz said. He also argued that Hopkins cited an “ambiguous office,” writing City Council as opposed to council 
member or mayor, on his signature petition, and said Brady wrote the primary date, rather than the regular election date, on her statement of candidacy.

Haleblian said in the likely event the objection is sustained, he will run as a write-in candidate for the mayoral election and “teach people how to spell my name.”


Outside legal counsel retained by the Town of Normal in recent weeks said three petitions of candidacy filed for nonexistent or appointed offices within the municipality cannot legally be certified for the 2023 election.

Normal officials retained Chicago-based Michael Kasper of Kasper and Nottage to review petitions filed by residents Robert Shoraga, Charles Sila and Amy Conklin.

Shoraga and Sila filed petitions of candidacy Nov. 28 for the currently nonexistent offices of town supervisor and town collector and Conklin filed to run for clerk, a position that has historically been appointed.

Town spokesperson Cathy Oloffson said Nov. 29 the town had turned over the petitions for a review of their “legal conformity,” saying once that review was complete, the town would “take appropriate action under the state Election Code.”

In letters mailed to each of the three candidates late last week, Kasper wrote that none of the three petitions conform with legal requirements, meaning “the Town cannot certify your name to the County Clerk for inclusion on the 2023 municipal ballot for election to an office that is not an elective office under the Town Code, and your name will not appear on the ballot.”


Normal City Councilmember Stan Nord has issued the following statement after Normal’s Deputy Clerk Jodi Pomis told the council Nord acted unprofessionally and with the intent to intimidate during Monday’s council meeting.

Nord shared the following statement with WMBD.

Normal has told residents that they cannot have district representation nor can they have the elected representatives that are spelled out in state law for “each,” “every”, and “all” incorporated towns. I apologize to anyone who misinterpreted my group email. It is long past due for the incorporated town of Normal to comply with state laws and act as an incorporated town.

Pomis has filed a grievance against Nord for the email she said was unethical.

Tuesday, five other council members and the mayor continued to condemn Nord’s email and are now looking into what, if anything can be done about the incident.

Here’s some more background on that email if you’re interested.

* Illinois Newsroom

Newly elected Champaign County Board members held their organizational meeting Monday night. The meeting opened with Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons swearing in the assembled board members, which include six new Democrats replacing four Democrats and two Republicans.

After losing two seats in the November election, Republicans have just six of their own on the 22-member county board. That’s the smallest Republican minority since Democrats gained majority status in 2000.

Former Champaign County Board member Jennifer Putman was part of both the minority and the majority on the board.

The 74-year-old Putman attended Monday’s organizational meeting and addressed the county board, with advice for the minority party, based on her own experience serving on the board in the 1980s, when Republicans outnumbered Democrats 21-6.

“So, what do you do when you’re in the minority?” said Putman. “You make common cause, you build relationships and you serve the people of Champaign County. And that’s what we did.”

* Tom Kacich

It’s early — really early — but Urbana City Council member James Quisenberry is letting it be known that he’s interested in running for mayor in 2025.

Two-term Mayor Diane Marlin said she probably won’t run again.

“At this point, I do not plan to run for mayor,” she said. “I also think it’s crazy that people are starting this early. But that’s just my opinion.”

Quisenberry, a former Champaign County Board member who is now the Ward 7 alderman in Urbana, doesn’t disagree.

“It is a long way away, politically,” he said. “It feels like a long time away. But I’m interested in it. I’m planning like that is what I’m going to do. I’m going to reach out to other people and talk to them.”

* Block Club

With Ald. Sophia King (4th) challenging Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the mayoral election next year, up to seven candidates — including King’s longtime aide — are trying to fill her seat at City Council.

Appointed by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel to replace former Ald. Will Burns in 2016, King won a special election in 2017. She won again in 2019 against challenger Ebony Lucas, getting 66 percent of the vote. She announced her bid for mayor in August.

The 4th Ward — which includes Kenwood, Oakland and parts of Bronzeville — is one of the city’s more progressive communities. It is home to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who served as alderperson for 19 years before her election to the board in 2010.

The election is Feb. 28. If no one candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will go to a runoff April 4.

* Lake County News-Sun

A push to place a referendum on the April 4 general election ballot to change Waukegan’s form of government — to one run by a city manager rather than a mayor — is accelerating, pending action by the City Council and an independent petition drive.

A pair of council committees discussed four potential referendums for the April 4 election prior to Monday’s council meeting. Three are related to a managerial form of government, and the fourth would make elections for city officials nonpartisan.

Only three referendums can be placed on a general election ballot for a municipality, either by a petition circulated by voters or legislative action, according to Illinois law.

The City Council plans to vote whether to place any, or potentially three referendums on the April 4 ballot at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at City Hall in Waukegan to determine the future of the city’s government and how its voters choose their elected officials.

* Press release…

Chicago Conservative activist Patrick Gibbons was assaulted yesterday while boarding Pace Bus #223 at approximately 5pm at the Rosemont Blueline station. During the assault, the perpetrator used a sharp object to slice Gibbons’ hand. Gibbons stated that the suspect “was acting strangely and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.”

The suspect also attempted to choke Gibbons on the bus before a good samaritan was able to get between Gibbons and the suspect. Rosemont PD responded. The police report is #202200019334. Gibbons is offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of his attacker and is voicing his belief that the community needs additional police patrols and greater security on the CTA and Pace Platforms to deal with the increased number of violent assaults on Chicago-area mass transit in the past year.

Gibbons has also filed as an Aldermanic candidate in the 31st Ward (Belmont-Cragin).

What’s going on in your local elections?


  1. - yinn - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    Our city council has managed to 100% sideline the elected city clerk and afaik he hasn’t been seen at the city hall or at meetings in months. They’ve eliminated deputies, too, so it’ll be person(s) of dubious legality accepting and processing petitions.

  2. - John Lopez - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    The city of Crystal Lake mayoral race on April 4 will be all write-in, and opens the door for additional candidates.

    If Mayor Haleblian has to seek reelection as a write-in as expected, could be interesting.

  3. - Benjamin - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    There has to be more to the story for the petitions for nonexistent offices in Normal.

  4. - The Truth - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 11:46 am:

    It’s kinda wild that a city the size of Crystal Lake will have a completely wide-open mayoral ballot. Virtually anyone could spend a few thousand on targeted Facebook ads in the last couple of weeks before E-Day and win. Especially if their name is easier to spell than “Haig Haleblian”.

  5. - Bolingbrook party of 7 - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    The Tiffany Stephens mayor petition challenge sure reminds me of Democrats working to ensure Beverly Myles stayed off the ballot in the primary.

  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    I’ve mostly voiced my concerns with local political events yesterday. But this;

    –petitions of candidacy filed for nonexistent or appointed offices within the municipality–

    Reminded me of another local event a few months back.

    There are a lot of people, and I can already make an educated guess who this group is without even looking, who have decided they know everything and are going to single handedly pull one over on their own government by using what they think is a ’secret loophole’.

    They of course usually forget there are many(6) different legally distinct forms of local government in Illinois and instead they will just pick and choose what they like from each type and try to apply it to the singular local municipal government they have.

    It can be quite amusing, and is often a great way to find out who pays attention to details and who doesn’t.

  7. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 12:44 pm:

    SPI has mayor’s race with the incumbent Jim Langfelder facing off against the City Treasurer Misty Buscher.

    Should be interesting as Buscher pulled the turncoat card and got elected as a Democrat then flipped to the GOP. Will be interesting if Langfelder can keep the old school Dems with him.

    But no one should be surprised at Buscher flipping she has Chuck Redpath in her camp and he got hired by Blago and worked as Democrat legislative liaison before flipping to the GOP when Rauner was elected.

    Have to love Springpatch politics.

  8. - Abnormal - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    There has to be more to the story for the petitions for nonexistent offices in Normal.

    Normal’s town council is elected to at large positions in non-partisan elections. The MAGA crowd hates the progressive lean of the council to make things happen although in reality the council is evenly split between D and R, is fiscally responsible and enjoys a credit rating that only the top 10% of municipalities in the COUNTRY have earned.

    Last August the MAGA crowd submitted petitions for a referendum to elect the council via districts/wards instead of at large claiming that citizens would be better represented although they never explained how having one rep instead of six is better.

    The petitions cited state municipal code for villages while Normal is an incorporated Town. An objection was filed to the petitions and the local electoral board sustained the objection and didn’t allow the referendum on the ballot. The petitioners hired former AG candidate and MAGA warrior
    David Shestokas to handle the electoral board hearing and subsequent appeal to the circuit court. The court ruled that Normal is in fact a Town and in favor of the objection and the referendum was left off the ballot.

    They have now submitted petitions for non-existing positions based on their incorrect interpretation that a Town is required to have these elected positions. If they are allowed on the ballot they will run unopposed. Absurd.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===she does not meet the residency requirement is found to be valid.===

    There’s a Rahm Emanuel joke somewhere in that, I’ll need to find it I suppose.

    To “filing petitions for non-existent offices”, that’s a way to either force the hand of clarity and remove all ambiguity (real or imagined) and maybe force a review and understanding of how y’all are organized and if solely on a bunch of folks making noise, it’ll shut it down for always.

    It sounds fun, to be honest.

  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 1:31 pm:

    –that’s a way to either force the hand of clarity–

    It sounds more like they were all ready to run for these offices, had the previous petition worked to change the form of government to aldermanic-city form of local government, instead of the current trustee-village form.

    They just forgot to take into account the reality that their previous petition didn’t go anywhere.

    But yes, it will absolutely be fun to watch them slowly come to the inevitable realization. I know it was fun for me when something similar happened locally in a nearby village.

  11. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    - Bolingbrook party of 7 - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    Beverly Miles* was on the ballot and got crushed. Other than that, I totally agree with you!

  12. - Not Your Gramma - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    One of the Naperville candidates is whining about how Naperville isn’t like it used to be and how out upon he is by this. He could take a few tips from the Crystal Lake mayor and admit he screwed up and be gracious but so few mediocre entitled guys never seem to grock that.

  13. - Stuck in Celliniland - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 4:23 pm:

    Only a few weeks after winning election to the newly realigned Sangamon County Board District 18, Sam Cahnman has already filed to run for his old Springfield Ward 5 seat against incumbent Lakeisha Purchase.

  14. - GC - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 4:56 pm:

    Another day, another set of ridiculous outcomes courtesy of the Illinois Elections Code. You can say that people should “pay attention to the details” all you like, but if we make it this hard to serve in public office, we shouldn’t be surprised when we run out of good people who want to do it.

  15. - Tim - Thursday, Dec 8, 22 @ 11:30 pm:

    === One of the Naperville candidates is whining about how Naperville isn’t like it used to be and how out upon he is by this. ===

    And now that his nominating petitions have been posted online as part of the electoral board meeting agenda, it’s plain to see that he didn’t number the pages (where a space is clearly marked for sheet numbering) or bind them across the top (where it says BIND HERE).

    Illinois nominating petition requirements are arbitrary and maybe a bit arcane, but things like that are just begging for a challenge. Better luck next time.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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