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Would-be Breen opponent Tomlinson off ballot, Democrats Peickert and Waller safe

Published: Friday, July 11, 2014 5:22 p.m. CST

The Democratic representation on the DuPage County ballot come November will be more sparse than party officials hoped – but not as sparse as it could have been.

On Thursday, the DuPage County Election Commission Board voted to remove Marian Tomlinson – who petitioned to run against Republican Peter Breen for the 48th District General Assembly representative seat – from the ballot.

The commission also voted to confirm its earlier decision to remove Max J. Havlick and Brian Wolter, who were running for the DuPage County Board seat for District Two and the Forest Preserve District presidency, respectively.

All three were challenged by the Republican Party after being petitioned onto the ballot after the primary election.

The challenge to Tomlinson stemmed from two complaints. The Republican Party said Democratic leadership did not give proper notification to Republican committeemen about the selection and did not follow state law when nominating her.

Counsel Burt Odelson said Democratic Party Commissioner Robert Peickert is required to be one of three committee members to sign off on the nomination of a senator or representative. Peickert's name was not on any official documentation, so while it was decided the Republican's first complaint was not valid, Tomlinson was out.

The board previously ruled on Havlick's and Wolter's cases at its June 27 meeting, at which it heard arguments on both sides of the debate. Neither candidate obtained the requisite number of petition signatures after the commission threw out several, Odelson said.

That means the District 2 re-election bid of Pete DiCianni and Joe Cantore's forest preserve presidential hopes will be uncontested.

Two other Democrat candidates – Rolland "Rolly" Waller for District 1 and Peickert, who is challenging incumbent Dan Cronin for chairman of the County Board – were allowed to remain on the ballot.

The two were nominated by a subcommittee as opposed to a full nominating committee and the Republican Party said neither gave all precinct committeemen proper notice of nomination.

Odelson said some previous appellate court statutes granted flexibility on both issues, and that in some situations where "minimal" requirements were met, deference went towards putting candidates on the ballot.

"The law generally is, you favor ballot access," Odelson said. "That's what the Supreme Court has told us time and time again. I think that even though this is a closer case, this is a case that should be sided with the candidate because the evidence on record is that there was notice that went out."

Waller was the only candidate in attendance Thursday and said he was happy about the decision and looking forward to his upcoming contest against District 1 incumbent Paul Fichtner.

"I was extremely impressed at the fact that politics played no role in this," he said. "I thought it was going to. I think the chairman of this committee – I was told she goes by the book, and that's what I observed. They just dealt with the facts."

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