Madison - St. Clair Record

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Objections to Baricevic, LeChien and Haida candidacies raised; Judges should have to run for retention, not re-election, petitions say

By Ann Maher | Dec 8, 2015

Election paperwork of three sitting circuit judges running for election in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit is being challenged with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Dallas Cook, Belleville city clerk and a Republican candidate for St. Clair County circuit clerk, objected to the nomination papers of Circuit Judges John Baricevic, Robert Haida and Robert LeChien, who are running on the Democratic ticket.

Cook seeks to have their names stricken from the March 15 primary ballot, stating that the judges' nomination papers are insufficient in law in the following ways:

- Article 6 Section 12(d) of the Illinois Constitution requires circuit judges to seek retention for the office of circuit court judge, and not re-election as they propose to do.

- The same section requires circuit court judges to file for retention not less than six months before the general election preceding the expiration of his term of office. Their terms expire in December 2016.

- The judges failed to file nomination papers for retention as circuit judge.

The objections further state that the judges' nominating papers "are not uniform or consistent."

"That (sic) are not confusing and thus do not comply with the Election Code, and as such all sheets should be stricken," they state.

Cook argues that Election Code requires that for each petition sheet the heading of each should be the same.

"More specifically, the sheets fail to clarify if the candidate is running for nomination or election," the objections state.

Cook's objections were filed late in the day Monday with the State Board of Elections, just before the period for filing objections ended.

An initial meeting of a state electoral board that would decide the matter will be at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 14.

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