Rudd's re-election hopes hinge on Aug. 11 court hearing

  • Thomas Rudd

    Thomas Rudd

Updated 7/21/2016 8:19 PM

A Lake County judge will hold a hearing Aug. 11 to determine if Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd's name can appear on the November ballot as an independent candidate.

Judge Diane Winter will make the decision on Rudd's general election status, which was thrown into limbo July 13 when the Lake County Electoral Board removed his name from the ballot. The three-member panel ruled that Rudd could not run as an independent after initially filing -- and then withdrawing -- his candidacy as a Democrat before the March primary.


Rudd is asking Winter to overturn the election board's decision.

A first-term incumbent from Lake Forest, Rudd withdrew from the primary and as a Democratic precinct committeeman after his nominating petitions were challenged. He said at the time he would not have enough signatures on the petitions should the objections be upheld,

In June, he filed nominating petitions to run as an independent. However, Democratic coroner candidate Michael P. Donnenwirth and Waukegan resident Keith E. Turner objected to those petitions, claiming Rudd could not run as an independent in the same election cycle in which he filed as a Democrat.

While the law is clear on changing party affiliations after a primary loss, Rudd said, "it doesn't say whether or not you can run after withdrawing." Rudd's court challenge alleges the electoral board violated his rights under the U.S. and Illinois constitutions by removing him from November's ballot.

The hearing schedule has been sped up to ensure a decision is made before the ballots need to be printed by the Lake county clerk's office.

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