Candidate Challenges – As Usual!
By Mark Garrity
As they always do, Republicans challenged the petitions of several Democratic candidates in DuPage County for the March primary election. They do this just about every election on the tiniest of technicalities. It’s obvious this isn’t about preventing people who don’t deserve to be on the ballot from putting phony names on their petitions, it’s about making Democrats jump over more hurdles to run for office.
Irfan M. Ibrahim needed 142 valid signatures to appear on the ballot as a forest preserve commission candidate in District 3. He submitted 317. Kathleen Abbate of Darien who is a Republican pct committeeman and trustee on the Downers Grove Twp board claimed that Ibrahim failed to meet that threshold. He easily won his challenge.
Daniel Hebreard, of Woodridge, who is running for forest preserve president faced a battle to stay on the ballot because he wrote forest preserve president as the office he was running for on his paperwork instead of “President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.” He won his challenge too but current forest preserve president Joe Cantore of Oak Brook and friends have decided to appeal the decision to the circuit court.
Sometimes challenges are valid when candidates obviously cut corners, “roundtable” their petitions or have many signatures from out of their districts. But that’s hardly ever the case when Republicans challenge Democratic petitions in DuPage. They will even challenge the signatures of the candidate and his or her own family members. It’s usually a blatantly frivolous exercise like these cases. To the GOP it’s just another cost of doing business and an attempt to intimidate.