No decisions in challenges to two Des Plaines candidates' petitions

Two Des Plaines political candidates will have to wait until at least Monday to learn if they'll be kicked off the April 6 ballot.

No evidence was heard, nor were any final decisions made, in electoral board hearings held Thursday morning regarding formal objections to the candidacies of mayoral hopeful Andrew Goczkowski and city clerk candidate Justin Cochran.

Goczkowski's paperwork is being challenged by local resident Mike Lake. Lake alleges Goczkowski's candidate petitions weren't properly notarized and contain many invalid signatures.

Goczkowski, the city's 8th Ward alderman, has said Lake's allegations are baseless and called his petitions "ironclad."

He is one of four mayoral candidates. The others are 6th Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester, former 4th Ward Alderman Dick Sayad and former 8th Ward Alderman Michael Charewicz.

Cochran's petitions have been challenged by the other candidate in the clerk's race, Jessica M. Mastalski.

Mastalski claims Cochran's paperwork includes invalid signatures, the signatures of people who aren't registered to vote at the addresses they gave, and other irregularities.

The most common issue cited is that dozens of petition signers wrote "DP" - not Des Plaines spelled out - as part of their address.

Mastalski also claims Cochran's petitions and statement of candidacy didn't properly identify the office he's seeking.

In an interview, Cochran insisted his petitions identified him as a candidate for city clerk and state law allows standard abbreviations such as "DP" for municipalities.

A local electoral board consisting of Mayor Matthew Bogusz, Alderman Don Smith and City Clerk Jennifer Tsalapatanis held preliminary hearings in the matters Thursday morning. The discussions mostly focused on legal issues and procedures rather than the meat of the objections.

Hearings will resume at 5 p.m. Monday at city hall, 1420 Miner St. The session will be broadcast online at and on local Channel 17.

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