Write-ins trigger primary for Aurora mayor race

 
 
Updated 2/13/2017 10:58 AM

The race for mayor of Aurora will get an early start with a primary Feb. 28.

The top two vote-getters in the race to lead Illinois' second-largest city will advance to the April 4 election for a chance to be the first elected mayor after Tom Weisner, who stepped down last fall after nearly 12 years because of health concerns.

 

It initially appeared a primary wouldn't be necessary in the mayor's race because four candidates filed to have their names printed on the ballot, reaching but not exceeding the maximum allowed at a regular spring election.

The race features candidates Linda Chapa LaVia, Richard "Rick" Guzman, Richard C. Irvin and Michael B. Saville, all of whom filed nominating petitions in November to officially join the race. A fifth candidate, Jose Luis Del Bosque, withdrew his candidacy.

But then came the write-ins.

Five of them declared their intent to run by the Dec. 29 deadline, triggering a primary to be held on Feb. 28. The write-in candidates are Jeffrey M. Houghtaling, Daniel N. Hoffman, Thomas V. Benedetto, David James Howard and Eva M. Rodgers.

"If none of the write-ins filed, then we would not have a primary," said Linda Fechner, executive director of the Aurora Election Commission.

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In a change from years past because of an update to election code, Fechner said only two candidates will advance from the primary to the April 4 election. That means the mayoral field will narrow from nine candidates -- including the write-ins -- to two.

Previously, if a primary was necessary because more than four candidates filed for a single position, the primary would reduce the field to four names, which then would appear again in the general election.

Come Feb. 28, the Aurora Election Commission will handle primary votes cast in the mayor's race by incorporated residents in the Kane, Kendall and Will County portions of the city. The DuPage County Election Commission will count votes from far East side Aurora residents living within DuPage's borders.

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