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updated: 7/11/2014 12:44 AM

DuPage panel keeps two Democrats on the ballot, removes a third

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  • Robert Peickert

      Robert Peickert

 
 

The name of state representative hopeful Marian Tomlinson shouldn't appear on the November ballot because the DuPage Democratic Party failed to comply with the state election code when it slated her, a county electoral board has ruled.

But the panel also concluded Thursday night that Democratic leaders followed the rules when they appointed Robert Peickert to run for DuPage County Board chairman and Roland "Rolly" Waller to run for a county board seat.

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All three candidates had their nominating petitions challenged after they were picked by their party to run because no Democrats sought several seats during the March primary.

On Thursday, the DuPage County Officers' Electoral Board overruled the objections to Peickert's and Waller's nominating papers and agreed to leave both of them on the general election ballot.

"We look forward to a very competitive and respectful campaign," said Peickert, who will face incumbent county board Chairman Dan Cronin.

Scott Pyles, the attorney representing Peickert and Waller, said last month Democratic leaders did nothing wrong when they created subcommittees to select both candidates to fill vacancies on the ballot. Those panels were formed during the party's annual convention.

In addition to agreeing that the use of subcommittees was proper, DuPage electoral board members rejected a claim that precinct committeemen weren't properly notified about the slating meetings.

"I was extremely impressed with the fact that politics played no role in this," Waller said after the decision. "I thought it was going to."

Waller is running against incumbent county board member Paul Fichtner, an Elmhurst Republican, 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.

Waller, who lives in Bensenville, said the three members of the county electoral board focused on the facts when making their decision.

Unfortunately for Tomlinson, that didn't help her bid to challenge Republican Peter Breen of Lombard for a 48th House District seat. The electoral board voted unanimously to remove her name from the ballot.

If the ruling stands, Breen will run unopposed in the district, which covers all or portions of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lisle, Lombard, Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace and Downers Grove.

To be slated, Tomlinson needed to be appointed by a subcommittee that included the DuPage Democratic Party chairman as one of its members.

Peickert, who is the party chairman, attended the subcommittee meeting and supported Tomlinson. But he didn't officially serve on the subcommittee.

"There was no compliance with a mandatory provision of the election code, which renders (Tomlinson's) nomination papers invalid in their entirety," said Burt Odelson, the electoral board's attorney.

Peickert, who disagrees with the ruling about Tomlinson, said party officials will consider whether to appeal. "We'll have to discuss this with our attorneys and see where we go from there," he said.

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