SPRINGFIELD -- Longtime U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert now faces an uncontested primary election in March after the Illinois State Board of Elections kicked both of her opponents off the ballot.
Candidates also were removed in the 6th and 10th congressional districts.
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In the 11th District, where Biggert is now the lone Republican contender, the board voted unanimously today to remove Diane Harris of Joliet from the March 20 primary ballot for not having the 600 valid petition signatures she needed to be a candidate.
The case of Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham was far more complex, requiring a lengthy argument between attorneys over whether his petitions were notarized correctly and whether a man who gathered petitions for Cunningham got his address wrong in the paperwork.
"This is a tough case," said board Chairman William McGuffage. "There's no doubt about it."
Eventually, though, Cunningham was removed via a 6-2 vote.
Board member Jesse Smart dissented, saying the confusing arguments in the case should have led the board in a different direction.
"If I'm going to err, I'm going to err on the side of the candidate," he said.
Both candidates have the option of appealing in court. The 11th District includes all or parts of North Aurora, Aurora, Montgomery, Boulder Hill, Naperville, Lisle, Woodridge Darien, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Joliet, New Lenox, Darien, Burr Ridge and Hinsdale.
Biggert survived her own challenge comfortably, with the board voting 8-0 that she could run.
In the meantime, Aloys Rutagwibira, a Hainesville Democrat, was removed from his 10th Congressional District bid by a unanimous vote.
The Daily Herald reported this week that he hadn't been a U.S. citizen long enough to qualify to serve in Congress.
Records show he became a citizen in July 2006. Because the U.S. Constitution requires a member of Congress to be a citizen for seven years, Rutagwibira wouldn't qualify until July 2013.
The board didn't take that factor into account, however, removing Rutagwibira for not having enough valid petition signatures.
Brad Schneider of Deerfield, Ilya Sheyman of Waukegan, Bavda Vivek of Mundelein and John Tree of Long Grove remain in the Democratic primary in the 10th District, which includes central and eastern Lake County, also Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Northbrook and Des Plaines. The winner will face Republican Robert Dold in November.
In the 6th Congressional District, Democrat Tim Ritter of Cary was removed by a unanimous vote, as well.
Democrats Maureen Yates of Barrington, Geoffrey Petzel of Lake Zurich and Leslie Coolidge of Barrington Hills remain, vying for a chance to run against Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton in November.
The 6th District includes the southeast corner of McHenry County, the Barrington area, Inverness and Palatine, West Chicago, Wheaton, Downers Grove.