2 Democrats kicked off congressional ballots

  • Aloys Rutagwibira

    Aloys Rutagwibira

  • Tim Ritter

    Tim Ritter

Updated 2/2/2012 9:33 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State Board of Elections knocked two Democratic candidates for Congress off the ballot Thursday for not having enough petition signatures.

Aloys Rutagwibira, of Hainesville, was removed from his 10th Congressional District bid by a unanimous vote.


The Daily Herald reported this week that he hadn't been a U.S. citizen long enough to qualify to serve in Congress.

Records show he became a citizen in July 2006. Because the U.S. Constitution requires a member of Congress to be a citizen for seven years, Rutagwibira wouldn't qualify until July 2013, according to the records.

The board didn't take that factor into account, however, removing Rutagwibira for not having enough valid petition signatures.

Via email, Rutagwibira said he plans to file as a write-in candidate for the March 20 primary election in Lake County. He said the issue of his naturalization won't be an issue but didn't specify why.

"Going forward, I will channel all the resources I have to reach out to voters who want to vote for the candidate of their choice," he said.

Brad Schneider of Deerfield, Ilya Sheyman of Waukegan, Vivek Bavda of Mundelein and John Tree of Long Grove remain in the Democratic primary in the 10th District, which includes central and eastern Lake County, also Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Northbrook and Des Plaines. The winner will face Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Dold in November.

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In the 6th Congressional District, Democrat Tim Ritter of Cary was removed by a unanimous vote, as well.

"I knew it was kind of a long shot, anyway," he said.

Democrats Maureen Yates of Barrington, Geoffrey Petzel of Lake Zurich and Leslie Coolidge of Barrington Hills remain, vying for a chance to run against Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton in November.

The 6th District includes the southeast corner of McHenry County, the Barrington area, Inverness and Palatine, West Chicago, Wheaton, Downers Grove.

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