Republican David McSweeney is challenging the candidacy of independent Dee Beaubien in the race for the 52nd House District seat previously held by her late husband, Mark Beaubien.
McSweeney isn't taking issue with the validity of the roughly 3,500 signatures Beaubien collected on her nominating petitions, which is 2,000 more than the minimum needed.
Rather, the Barrington Hills financial consultant claims Beaubien is ineligible to run because she "declared herself to be a member of and affiliated with the Republican Party" during the current election cycle by signing the nominating petitions for other GOP candidates.
"It's a very simple challenge," McSweeney said. "She signed two Republican petitions, and we think that clearly disqualifies her."
Both candidates are scheduled to present oral arguments at a July 19 hearing before the Illinois State Board of Elections.
McSweeney's complaint includes copies of petition forms for Lake County Board candidate Nick Sauer and Lake County State's Attorney candidate Bryan Winter. Beaubien signed both last fall.
Beaubien, a retired family counseling and mental health professional, blasted McSweeney's challenge, saying his effort to eliminate competition deprives voters of a choice.
"It's unfortunate that David McSweeney has resorted to old political games and wants to prevent voters from having a choice in this election," she said in a statement. "People are sick and tired of politicians like McSweeney who believe they are owed an office and are afraid of any competition.
"One of the reasons I am running is to fight arrogance like this."
In March, McSweeney garnered 41 percent of the vote to win a three-way Republican primary over state Rep. Kent Gaffney and sales executive Danielle Rowe. Both survived petition challenges by McSweeney to stay on the ballot.
Beaubien announced her candidacy as an independent the following month, saying she wasn't ready to start a campaign any sooner following her husband's June 2011 death. In the GOP primary she supported the more moderate Gaffney, who was appointed to succeed her husband.
To fight McSweeny's challenge, Dee Beaubien has hired Mike Kasper, a Democratic attorney with strong ties to House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The 52nd House District covers parts of Algonquin, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills, North Barrington, Oakwood Hills, South Barrington, Trout Valley and Wauconda.