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updated: 6/15/2014 4:43 PM

Four DuPage candidates face fight to stay on the ballot

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Four candidates recently slated by the DuPage Democratic Party to run for countywide and county board positions face legal challenges to stay on the November ballot.

Residents opposing the candidacies of Robert Peickert, Brian Wolter, Roland "Rolly" Waller and Max J. Havlick claim the four Democrats either failed to gather enough valid signatures to get on the ballot or weren't properly appointed by the county's Democratic organization.

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It will be up to the county's electoral board to review the candidates' nomination papers and decide if the opponents' claims are valid. A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.

Peickert, Wolter, Waller and Havlick were chosen by their party to campaign in the general election because no Democrats ran for county board chairman, forest preserve president and several county board seats during the March primary.

But Lombard residents Michael Ledonne and Sandra Baldwin insist the Democrats didn't comply with the election code when they appointed Peickert to face incumbent Republican county board Chairman Dan Cronin. They claim the committee that nominated Peickert didn't have the legal authority to do so.

In addition, numerous Democratic precinct committeemen weren't notified about the April 28 committee meeting. Because those committeemen weren't able to participate, the meeting itself was improper, according to Ledonne and Baldwin.

Finally, the objectors claim the people who circulated Peickert's petitions made fatal errors by failing to certify when the signatures were collected.

Peickert, who is chairman of the DuPage Democratic Party, said he "fully expected" the Republicans to challenge his candidacy.

"They are challenging almost everybody," he said. "This is what the Republicans do when we have nominations."

Peickert said he's confident his party followed all the rules and did everything correctly.

Meanwhile, Wolter said he was disappointed to find out his bid to run for forest preserve president was being challenged.

"In the interest of democracy, you'd figure you'd at least give constituents a choice," said Wolter, a Carol Stream resident who hopes to face Joe Cantore of Oak Brook.

However, John C. Smith Jr. of West Chicago says there's multiple problems with Wolter's nominating petition, including signatures by people who aren't registered Democrats or who don't live in the district. As a result, Smith claims Wolter failed to get the 998 valid signatures needed to appear on the ballot as a countywide candidate.

Because only three Democrats ran for six county board seats during the primary, party leaders picked Waller, Havlick and Regina Drucilla Brent for the three other spots.

Now Mark Nowak of Addison claims Waller wasn't appointed properly because some precinct committeemen weren't given "reasonable advance notice" of the slating meeting. Waller, who lives in Bensenville, was slated during an April 29 meeting.

If Waller can stay in the race, he will face incumbent Paul Fichtner of Elmhurst for a District 1 seat. The district includes all or portions of Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Elmhurst, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Lombard, Roselle, Villa Park and Wood Dale.

Havlick is supposed to challenge incumbent Peter DiCianni of Elmhurst for a District 2 seat. But the Villa Park resident is having his nominating papers challenged by Elmhurst residents Bob Ceddia and Tom Naples.

The objectors say Havlick didn't collect enough signatures to qualify for office. Havlick needed 175 valid signatures, but his petition only contains 140 signatures.

District 2 covers all or portions of Addison, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Westmont and Woodridge.

No one challenged the nominating papers for Brent, who plans to face fellow Aurora resident Tonia Khouri for a District 5 seat. The district includes parts of Aurora, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville and Woodridge.

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