Jacobs to drop out of Mundelein race

A Mundelein village board candidate on Tuesday said he plans to withdraw from the race.

Greg Jacobs' decision essentially assures the other three candidates in the race — all incumbents — will be elected in April 2011.

Jacobs, 59, said he's quitting the race because he didn't get enough signatures on his nominating petition. On Monday, local resident Walter Szatkowski filed paperwork formally challenging Jacobs' petition because of that shortcoming.

Jacobs blamed “apathy in this town” for the lack of signatures.

Jacobs is no stranger to suburban politics. He ran for the Republican nomination for the 8th Congressional District seat earlier this year. He finished last in a six-way primary won by Joe Walsh, who eventually beat Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean to take the seat.

Jacobs had filed paperwork for the village race earlier this month. Three seats, all with 4-year terms, will be up for election, and Jacobs was the only challenger.

The incumbents in the race are Robin Meier, Ed Sullivan and Terri Voss.

Meier was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2008 and won election to a 2-year term in 2009.

Voss has served on the board since 2003.

Sullivan, the father of state Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr., has been a trustee since 1999.

Candidates for elected office must gather signatures from registered voters to appear on the ballot. A minimum number of signatures is required, representing a percentage of local voters.

The total varies from race to race. Jacobs said he needed 148 signatures on his petition but collected only about 130.

Jacobs said he won't fight Szatkowski's challenge because he wants to prevent taxpayer money being spent on the matter. He said he was disappointed to have to end his campaign for the board “because there are a lot of important issues (in Mundelein) that should be addressed and have not been.”

Sullivan said he has mixed emotions about the election not being contested.

“An election is a good means of discussing policy and hearing from the public, so we will be without that discussion,” Sullivan said. “But on the other hand, speaking from an incumbent's perspective, elections aren't a lot of fun.”

Voss was similarly conflicted about Jacobs' decision.

“I think it's unfortunate that there isn't anyone who was willing to really step up and have a campaign,” she said. “I think public discussion and debate serve the public best.”

Even so, withdrawing was the best move for Jacobs if he cares about the village, Voss said.

“His petitions will not withstand a challenge,” she said.

Meier couldn't be reached for comment.

Despite his decision to quit the race, Jacobs said he isn't done with politics.

“There's always 2012,” said Jacobs, a retired Cook County sheriff's deputy and Vietnam War veteran. “This is a tactical withdrawal, not a surrender by any means.”