Glendale Heights village president, one opponent survive ballot challenge

Longtime Glendale Heights Village President Linda Jackson gets to stay on the April 6 ballot, as does opponent Ed Pope.

However, a third candidate for the seat, Chodri Khokhar, has been removed.

Thursday, DuPage County Judge Bonnie Wheaton denied a request to overrule the decisions of the village's electoral board regarding Pope and Jackson.

Matthew Corbin had objected to the nomination petitions of Jackson, Pope and Khokhar, saying they had not collected enough signatures and should be taken off the ballot. The electoral board refused to do so.

Corbin then asked DuPage County judges to overturn the board's decisions.

On Feb. 11, Judge Craig Belford ruled that some of the signatures on Khokhar's petitions were invalid, leaving him seven short of the 118 signatures Belford determined were required.

Khokhar asked Belford on Friday to reconsider his decision, for several reasons, including that Khokhar had not attended the Feb. 11 hearing because he had trouble connecting to the Zoom court session. Belford refused to reconsider.

The Jackson and Pope cases were assigned to Wheaton. Unlike Belford, she did not address the issue of how many signatures were really needed. Instead, she ruled Pope and Jackson could rely on the number told to them by a village clerk. That number - 24 - was too low, according to Corbin's attorney, Andrew Finko. Finko argued Pope and Jackson were experienced candidates who should have known that number was too low, and said Pope testified to the electoral board he thought it was too low.

"I think it's the right ruling - not just because I won, but just because it was fair," Pope said. "I think the clerk made an honest mistake, and the electoral board held that up. I could have easily gotten the correct ... number of signatures. But I was told the other number by the clerk, and that was a number I went by."

Wheaton noted the petition requirements for Glendale Heights are confusing. The town was incorporated in 1959 as one that could conduct partisan elections. There are different requirements under state law for partisan and nonpartisan elections.

"I do agree there is a crazy quilt of (election) issues in the village," Wheaton said. She recommended that no matter who is elected, "that situation should be clarified by determining whether this should be a partisan or nonpartisan election."

Michael Ontiveroz also is running for village president in the April 6 election.

Ed Pope
Chodri Khokhar
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