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posted: 12/21/2012 12:04 PM

Wheaton primary scrapped after candidate drops out

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Wheaton won't need a February primary election now that a candidate has removed himself from the race to represent the city's north side.

Robert Molenhouse has abandoned his bid for the North District seat held by Councilman Phil Suess. As a result, Suess, who is seeking his third term, must face three challengers: Alberta Adamson, Ted Rodgers and J.T. Del Alcazar.

Had Molenhouse stayed in the race, a Feb. 26 primary would have been needed to narrow the field from five to four candidates before the April 9 election.

On Friday, Molenhouse said part of the reason he dropped out was to spare DuPage County the time and expense of conducting the primary.

"It probably would have cost at least $6,000 to $8,000 to run a primary to get one person off the ballot," he said. "It just doesn't seem right to me."

Molenhouse hasn't ruled out the possibility of seeking the at-large seat that has opened up on the six-member council.

Jeanne Ives recently resigned from her at-large position on the council because she was elected to the state legislature. Her seat will be up for election in April.

The filing period for the at-large vacancy runs through the end of the day Dec. 26. To qualify to run for the at-large seat, a candidate must collect signatures from at least 81 registered voters living in Wheaton.

As of Friday, the only candidate to file for the at-large post is former Councilman John Prendiville, who didn't seek re-election in 2011 to make a failed bid to unseat Mayor Michael Gresk.

Meanwhile, candidates seeking three other spots on the city council won't face any opposition.

West District Councilman Todd Scalzo and South District Councilman John Rutledge both are running unopposed. And W. Thoreson "Thor" Saline was the only candidate to submit paperwork to seek the East District held by Tom Mouhelis, who is stepping down when his term expires in May.

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