Thursday, February 5, 2009

Waukegan Mayors Race heats up

From the land of petition snafu's comes the latest one. The race for Waukegan Mayor is going to be very lively. We will sit back and enjoy it.

From the NEWS SUN -- Signatures on state Rep. Eddie Washington's mayoral candidacy petitions are under fire.

Roughly 400 of Washington's signatures were challenged late Monday, said city Clerk Wayne Motley. The challenge filed by residents Roxanne Zwier-Swanson, Craig Heneghan, Margaret Shorts and Janalle Roth alleges that the signatures are invalid for number of reasons.

Among the objections: signers are not registered to addresses shown; signers' addresses are out of the district; signers' voter registration records were not found; and signers' registration signatures are "suspect."

Washington, the Democrat representing the 60th District, is running as an independent mayoral candidate.

With nearly 400 of his signatures being questioned, Washington would fall "well below" the number needed to remain on the ballot, Motley said.

When contacted Monday evening, Washington said he was unaware of the challenge. He told the News-Sun that his petitions bear about 730 signatures, well over the 427 required. If the contested signatures are eliminated, Washington would be about 100 short.

A hearing on Washington's candidacy is expected early next week, Motley said. Officers for the hearing will include Motley and aldermen Larry TenPas and Tony Figueroa.

If Washington's candidacy is upheld, he will remain on an April 7 mayoral ballot that would include Republican Greg Flesher, independent Robert Sabonjian and the winner of this month's Democratic primary. On the primary ballot are incumbent Richard Hyde, Ald. Sam Cunningham and Jose L. Guzman.

A ruling by the local board is not necessarily the final word on candidacy. In December, the board rejected the petitions of 2nd ward aldermanic candidate Jose A. Guzman, one of four candidates seeking to complete the term of the late John Balen, but Guzman was restored to the ballot in January after appealing in Lake County Circuit Court.

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