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updated: 7/24/2012 4:52 PM

Collins stays on ballot to challenge Noland for 22nd State Senate seat

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  • Cary Collins, left, and Michael Noland

      Cary Collins, left, and Michael Noland

 

Republican Cary Collins has survived a challenge to his candidacy and will remain on the ballot for the 22nd District Senate seat.

Collins, who was slated for the seat by the Republican party in April, is challenging incumbent Michael Noland.

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Frank Imhoff, of Elgin, filed a petition with the State Board of Elections in June, arguing many of Collins' signatures were invalid.

Some of them were ultimately stricken by the electoral board because signers voted in the Democratic primary and, therefore, were not allowed to sign for the Republican candidate. Others were taken out because signers lived outside of district boundaries, which cover portions of Kane and Cook counties.

Ultimately Collins was left with 1,004 valid signatures, just four more than he needed to be on the ballot. He collected 1,386 with help from campaign staffers and volunteers.

The electoral board made its decision Monday after signature review and a recommendation by Board of Elections staff members.

Collins called the objection dirty politics, saying his volunteers were basically being accused of lying and collecting fraudulent signatures. The whole process has made him more determined than ever to unseat Noland in the race.

"We're going to try to change the culture here in Illinois," Collins said.

The attorney is a former Hoffman Estates village trustee and park commissioner. If elected, he plans to serve for just one term in the senate, campaigning on a platform opposed to career politicians.

Noland, of Elgin, first took office as a state senator in 2007. He has said he welcomes the challenge of a contested race to give voters a chance to hear more about issues facing the state.

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