David Earl Williams III, a Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat whose petitions have been challenged, said Friday he will run as an independent if the Cook County Board of Elections removes him from the March primary ballot.
Williams, a Navy veteran from Chicago, lost the 2014 Republican primary to Susanne Atanus, whom party leaders distanced themselves from because of her controversial views. Williams and Atanus filed again to run in 2016, along with Joan McCarthy Lasonde of Wilmette, who has the backing of Cook County Republican leaders.
Challenges have been filed against both Williams and Atanus, and rulings are likely next week. Williams said on Friday he plans to run against Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in November 2016 either way, as an independent or a Republican.