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updated: 3/21/2012 4:26 PM

Fate of Susan Sweeney's write-in bid still unclear

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  • Susan Sweeney

    Susan Sweeney


SPRINGFIELD -- Republican Susan Sweeney might have to wait at least until next week before learning if her write-in campaign for Illinois House worked, Cook County election officials said.

"Now, the suspense mounts," Sweeney said.

Sweeney, of Park Ridge, ran in the 55th District after longtime state Rep. Rosemary Mulligan of Des Plaines was removed from the Republican ballot for not getting enough petition signatures to run for re-election.

Even if Sweeney gets the most votes among Republican write-ins, she needs at least 500 votes to get onto the November election ballot. The district includes parts of Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Park Ridge.

But those ballots won't be counted until at least next week, said Courtney Greve, a spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Greve said that about 2,500 people wrote in a name in that district, but it'll take some time to figure out who everyone voted for and how many count. Even though Mulligan didn't actively campaign, people could have still written her name in. Or, often. voters will write in a friend's name or get even more creative.

So despite all the write-in votes, there's no guarantee 500 went to Sweeney.

"We know that not all of the votes will go to any one person," Greve said.

Sweeney was backed by House Republican Leader Tom Cross and his staff, who worked with Sweeney to get the word out to vote for her -- and how to write in a candidate. Because Mulligan was kicked off the ballot only months before the election, Sweeney didn't have much time to campaign.

"I had to do in nine weeks or so what other people had nine months to do," Sweeney said.

If Sweeney doesn't get the 500 votes, local Republican leaders can appoint a candidate to be on the November ballot and face Democratic Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan. Mulligan would have the most heavily weighted vote if it came to that.

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