Hearing officer David Herman is recommending that the State Board of Elections overrule objections to the candidacies of St. Clair County circuit judges John Baricevic, Robert LeChien and Robert Haida.
Belleville City Clerk Dallas Cook in early December filed papers with the State Board of Elections seeking to have the judges' names removed from the March primary ballot, contending, mainly, that their nomination papers were not constitutionally valid.
Cook argues that sitting judges are required by statute to run on their records on a non-partisan ballot in the general election, not for re-election to seats they are vacating by way of resignation.
On Friday, Herman issued an 11-page opinion, concluding that when reading sections of the applicable statute in conjunction with one another and given their "plain and ordinary" meanings, sitting judges have the option of either seeking retention through the process outlined by statute or by seeking election.
"Accordingly, the Objector's constitutionally-based challenge to the Candidates' names being on the ballot should be overruled," Herman wrote.
He also found that their statements of candidacy, which Cook also had objected to, "are in substantially the form required by that section."
The Illinois State Board of Elections will hear arguments on Wednesday in Chicago.
Attorney Michael Kasper of Chicago represents the judges.
Attorney Aaron Weishaar of St. Louis represents Cook.