Four Roselle mayoral and village board candidates survived a second round of challenges to their nominations Thursday but were hesitant to declare victory because they might face another appeal.
Whether that happens depends on incumbent village board member Kory Atkinson, who raised the initial objections and is now weighing whether to take them to a higher court.
"I'll have to make a decision quickly," Atkinson said, because ballots will be printed later this month.
Atkinson was considering his next move after DuPage County Judge Bonnie Wheaton upheld an earlier decision by the Roselle electoral board to keep James Banks, Carrie Dahlstrom, Robert Roddy and Jim Schelling on the April 9 ballot. Atkinson had asked Wheaton to reverse the board's decision.
Banks and Schelling, who are among four village president hopefuls, were challenged because their nominating papers fell short of the required number of signatures. Atkinson objected to Dahlstrom and Roddy because they filed their statements of economic interest in Cook County rather than DuPage.
In court Thursday, Wheaton said she agreed with the electoral board's finding that Banks and Schelling should remain on the ballot because the village clerk provided an incorrect calculation of how many signatures they needed. The judge also agreed Dahlstrom and Roddy, who live in the Cook portion of Roselle, essentially met their burden by creating a public record of their economic interest, though they should have filed in DuPage because most of the village is there.
Despite the ruling in their favor, there was some grumbling among the challenged candidates about the prospect of Atkinson pursuing the matter with the Second District Appellate Court in Elgin. They said it would be a waste of time and resources.
"All the residents of Roselle need to know this is happening and that their tax dollars are being used for this," Dahlstrom said.
Roddy said all of the candidates acted in good faith when they filed their nominations. Atkinson should back down and let the focus of the election return to community issues such as economic development and financial stability, he said.
"I hope now that he's got two rulings against him, he'll reconsider his position," Roddy said. "I'd like to go forward from here. These were not egregious issues."
Banks and Schelling added that a prolonged fight could deter qualified candidates from running for public office or getting involved in local government.
"It kind of throws a wrench in the gears, so to speak," Banks said. "Other people who would be excellent trustees don't run because they don't want to go through with this."
But Atkinson maintained the filing errors were a sign the candidates couldn't complete the "first step" of running for office, and said case law supports booting them from the ballot.
"Why should one village clerk in Roselle be able to change state law through inadvertence or mistake?" he asked. "The laws are written, and they should be enforced."