SPRINGFIELD -- State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan says she expects to be ousted from the primary election ballot after she wasn't able to gather enough legitimate signatures to make her candidacy official.
But, the Des Plaines Republican says, she intends to run as a write-in for the March 20 primary election with the intention of still being active in the November election to run against Democratic Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan.
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"They removed me," Mulligan said Friday.
"I'm discussing my options with House Republicans right now," she said.
Mulligan hasn't been officially ousted. The case against her petition will be heard next Tuesday or Friday by the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners, said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the board. Allen said the board tries to lean toward ballot access, but if signatures aren't adequate, "there's not a lot of latitude the law provides."
On Friday, Mulligan made it clear that she expects to be removed.
She said a good friend died as she was starting her petition-gathering effort, inhibiting the process.
"We were a little late beginning with the petitions," she said.
She needs 500 valid signatures from registered voters in her district to be eligible for the primary ballot.
Her expected removal throws into at least some question the longtime lawmaker's future. Being elected as a write-in candidate isn't a simple process.
Illinois Board of Elections Executive Director Rupert Borgsmiller said Mulligan will have to file an intent to run as a write-in candidate, and she'll have to get at least 500 valid write-in votes to win if she's not opposed.
But Mulligan was the only Republican to have filed for the 55th House District, perhaps clearing the way for an unopposed write-in win in the primary, if she goes forward with that plan.
The district includes parts of Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Park Ridge.
Mulligan has been in the Illinois House since 1993 and is often a point person for the House Republicans on budget and human services issues. She said Friday that she'd like to stay in Springfield because the state budget continues to be a problem.
"The discussion now is how we're going to do it," she said.
Her presumptive Democratic opponent, Moylan, didn't return requests for comment.