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Decisions Possible Monday Night in Oswego Election Fight

Jan 05, 2015 09:21AM ● Published by Steven Jack

The legal battle for those fighting to appear on the April 7 Oswego election ballot will continue Monday night with a possible decision on the fate of two candidates.

The village's Electoral Board will meet at 7 p.m. at Village Hall to vote on the validity of election petitions filed by Village President candidate Terry Michels and trustee candidate Diane Selmer. Trustee candidate Joe West raised objections to Michels' and Selmer's petitions after they filed them during the November primary election timeframe. 

The Electoral Board also will continue its hearing of objections filed by Michels to the seven candidates who filed during the December filing period. Those candidates are Trustees Gail Johnson and Tony Giles for village president, and trustee candidates Ryan Kauffmann, Karin McCarthy-Lange, Joe West, Brian Thomas and Rasma Motykowski.

Finally, the three-member Electoral Board also will consider a motion made by Michels' attorney to removed Trustee Judy Sollinger from the panel. The motion was made after discovering Sollinger had provided notary service on the petitions of Kauffman, McCarthy-Lange and West. 

The legal wrangling over the April election began in November after a July resolution passed unanimously by village trustees changed the village's election process to non-partisan. Non-partisan elections require a November filing period and a possible February primary if enough candidates file. As part of West's objections to Michels petitions, lawyers have cited Illinois statute that requires a referendum to change the form of municipal elections. 

Michels and Selmer were the only two to file during the filing period for non-partisan elections that ended Nov. 24. 

Several other candidates who plan to run for village offices believed they had until Dec. 22 to file their petitions, as has been past village practice and is erroneously stated in the village’s candidate election packet and on its website. 

If the other candidates are not eventually allowed on the April 7 ballot, Michels and Selmer will be the only two names to appear for village president and three open village trustee seats. 

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