Biggert’s GOP challengers removed from primary race
By Matt Hanley email@example.com February 2, 2012 6:54PM
Updated: March 4, 2012 8:19AM
Longtime U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert will be the lone Republican in the 11th Congressional District primary, after the state board of elections removed her two opponents from the ballot Thursday.
The board of elections upheld challenges to the candidacies of Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham and former Joliet mayoral candidate Diane Harris over problems with addresses on their petitions.
The decision was especially stinging for Cunningham, who — as clerk — is in charge of the county’s elections.
“I’m an elected official and if we did it wrong, we don’t belong on the ballot,” Cunningham said Thursday. “It over and it’s time to move on.”
Republican and Democratic candidates are required to collect the signatures of 600 district residents on election petitions. Often the signatures are challenged by other candidates or their supporters, arguing that the petitions were not filled out correctly. The goal is to disqualify enough signatures that the candidate no longer meets the minimum requirement.
In the 11th District Republican primary, all three candidates faced ballot challenges.
The problem with Cunningham’s petitions centered around a worker who incorrectly recorded his address on the petition sheets, officials said.
He said Thursday that he was disappointed, but won’t challenge the board’s decision in court.
Harris was removed over problems with addresses that were incorrect or not in the district. She did not return calls for comment Thursday.
The board unanimously rejected challenges to Biggert’s petitions.
Biggert will face the winner of the Democratic primary. The candidates are Orland Park Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey, former U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and former Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas.
The new 11th District covers most of Aurora, Naperville and Joliet.
Without primary opponents, Biggert will be able to save her substantial campaign funds for what is expected to be one of the state’s most-watched races.