New hearing set for Des Plaines candidates facing objections
The Des Plaines electoral board determined Friday that any decision involving the validity of signatures on the candidate petitions of mayoral hopeful Mark Walsten and 5th Ward aldermanic challenger Gregory Sarlo will come only after the Cook County Clerk's Office checks the names against its voter records.
Resident Carl Mauter-Hollenbeck filed the objection to 6th Ward Alderman Walsten's candidacy for mayor, while Brian Burkross filed the objection to Sarlo's petition.
Their objections primarily question whether the signatures on the petitions were of genuine registered voters, whether addresses provided were of voters residing within the city or appropriate ward boundaries, and whether some signatures are duplicates.
Des Plaines' general counsel Peter Friedman advised the electoral board the standard process is to defer any ruling until an official record check is performed by the county clerk's office.
That likely will take place next week, and all parties and their attorneys would be allowed to be present during the verification of signatures.
The board set a hearing for 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, to review the county clerk's report on the signatures in question. All parties were asked to submit briefs supporting their positions by 9 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22, and be ready to make arguments at the Jan. 24 hearing.
In his preliminary statement Friday, Walsten attorney Paul Turner conceded there were 14 duplicate signatures on the mayoral candidate's petition that could be stricken. However, he requested the board reject objections based on nuances in addresses or poor handwriting.
Walsten has said he is not concerned about the objection because he submitted 676 signatures, the maximum allowed and far exceeding the minimum of 476 signatures.
Mauter-Hollenbeck's attorney, Adam Salzman, deferred making any statements until after the county's records check is performed.
Three hopefuls are vying for the mayoral post, including 3rd Ward Alderman Matt Bogusz and former mayor Tony Arredia.
Sarlo is challenging first-term Alderman Jim Brookman in the 5th Ward.
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