Congressional candidates drop out of races in the 9th and 11th Districts

Two congressional candidates whose nominating petitions had been formally challenged have dropped out of a pair of largely suburban races.

But an objection to the petition of a candidate in a third race has been dropped, records show.

Republican Juan "Johnny" Ramos of Naperville has quit the 11th District contest, and Democrat Andrew Heldut of Chicago has bowed out in the 9th District, the Illinois State Board of Elections website indicates.

Ramos and Heldut were facing objections that could've knocked them off the June 28 primary ballot. Separate complaints alleged their nominating petitions contained fewer valid signatures than the 400 legally required, documents showed.

Neither could be reached for comment Monday.

Heldut's departure in the 9th District leaves veteran U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston as the lone Democrat running there. Max Rice of Northbrook and John Elleson of Arlington Heights are the GOP candidates in the 9th, which encompasses parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

An objection to Elleson's candidacy is pending.

Ramos' withdrawal leaves six GOP candidates in the 11th District: Mark Carroll of North Aurora, Jerry Evans of Warrenville, Susan L. Hathaway-Altman of the Geneva area, Andrea Heeg of the Geneva area, Catalina Lauf of Woodstock, and Cassandra Tanner Miller of Elgin. Democratic incumbent Bill Foster of Naperville is running for reelection.

The 11th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.

Elsewhere, the objection to 14th District Republican candidate Mike Koolidge's paperwork has been dropped.

The person filing that complaint, Yorkville resident Tonia LaRue, had said changes made to Koolidge paperwork weren't initialed by Koolidge or a notary. A Daily Herald review of the document revealed someone hand-wrote the word "Congressional" next to a typed "14th" in a box where the district being sought is supposed to be listed.

Koolidge, of Rochelle, called the objection "ridiculous, frivolous and a waste of our time."

"But we're moving on, as we've got a campaign to win," Koolidge added.

LaRue declined to comment Monday.

Objections remain against the petitions of four candidates in the 14th: Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood of Naperville, Republican Scott Gryder of Oswego, Republican Jack Lombardi of Manhattan, and Republican Susan Starrett of North Aurora.

LaRue also filed the complaint against Underwood, alleging Underwood's statement of candidacy inaccurately described the office being sought.

However, a copy of Underwood's candidacy statement acquired by the Daily Herald indicates she's seeking the Democratic nomination in the 14th Congressional District.

Objections will be heard by electoral boards selected by the Illinois State Board of Elections.

If a petition objection is upheld, a candidate can be disqualified from running for a political party nomination.

Also running in the 14th District are James Marter of Oswego and Jaime Milton of Fox River Grove.

On Monday, Marter took credit for the complaints filed against the other candidates' petitions. Supporters raised the objections "on my behalf," he said.

"The job of congressman is to read, write, and understand complex bills, and (to) support or oppose them," Marter said. "Do you want a representative who doesn't read or understand basic instructions and follow them?"

The 14th has parts of Kane, Will, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.

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