Des Plaines clerk candidate to stay on ballot

  • Justin Cochran, left, and Jessica Mastalski, right, are candidates for Des Plaines city clerk.

    Justin Cochran, left, and Jessica Mastalski, right, are candidates for Des Plaines city clerk.

 
 
Updated 1/13/2021 2:45 PM

A Des Plaines city clerk candidate's attempt to get her rival for the post knocked off the April 6 ballot has failed.

A three-member local electoral board this week ruled against Jessica M. Mastalski's effort to disqualify Justin Cochran's candidacy.

 

Mastalski claimed Cochran's candidate petitions included 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 was that dozens of petition signers wrote "DP" -- not Des Plaines spelled out -- as part of their address.

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

Cochran insisted his petitions properly identified him as a candidate for city clerk. He also said state law allows standard abbreviations such as "DP" for municipalities.

The electoral board -- consisting of Mayor Matthew Bogusz, Alderman Don Smith and City Clerk Jennifer Tsalapatanis -- unanimously sided with Cochran on the issue of the Des Plaines abbreviation during a hearing Monday night.

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As for whether Cochran's petitions properly identified the office he sought, the vote was 2-1 with Tsalapatanis dissenting.

The board formally issued those findings Tuesday night.

The clerk's position will be open in April because Tsalapatanis isn't seeking reelection.

Last week, a Des Plaines resident ended his attempt to get mayoral candidate Andrew Goczkowski removed from the ballot through the same hearing process.

Goczkowski, the city's 8th Ward alderman, is one of four mayoral candidates in the April 6 election. The others are 6th Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester, former 4th Ward Alderman Dick Sayad and former 8th Ward Alderman Michael Charewicz.

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