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School Board President Walsh Pulls Out of Election Campaign

Jan 08, 2015 04:36PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Bill Walsh

UPDATED 4:30 P.M. THURSDAY, JAN 8

School Board President Bill Walsh will not seek re-election in April after a petition challenge from the husband of fellow candidate and board member Alison Swanson. 

He issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

As reported via media outlets, my petition to run for the volunteer position of School Board Member for District 308 has been challenged by Mr. Jeremy Swanson, husband of Board Member Ms. Alison Swanson, who is a candidate in the same election.

After reviewing the court 
documents, on January 8, 2015, I submitted paperwork to withdraw my name from candidacy for the 308 School District Board Member election scheduled on April 7, 2015.  
The reason that I submitted the paperwork to withdraw is, unfortunately, on page 5 of the petitions I inadvertently left my name and the position I was planning to run for blank. Under the law this needs to be completed, otherwise all signatures on that page will be found invalid. 

Even 
though for every person that I asked to sign all of my petitions, I introduced myself by name and the position I was planning to run for, I respect and honor the law that governs the election 
process.  

By submitting the withdraw, I am avoiding the costs that the wonderful citizens of Kendall County will otherwise incur to have the Election Board made up of  Ms. Gillette, Ms. Morganegg and Mr. Weis meet, discuss, possibly have a second meeting, time preparing a written decision, as well as the cost of a court room.  

They have more pressing issues to address 
and act upon that will serve all of Kendall County’s citizens, and I do not want to take up more of their valuable time.

I apologize to those who have continued to support me, for this oversight.  I will review all of my options to serve District 308.

ORIGINAL STORY

Oswego School District 308 School Board President Bill Walsh is facing a challenge that could end with his name tossed from the April 7 election ballot. 

Jeremy Swanson, the husband of fellow board member and candidate Alison Swanson, Monday filed objections to Walsh’s nominating papers with the Kendall County Clerk’s office. A county Electoral Board hearing to consider the objections is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, at the courthouse in Yorkville. 

According to County Clerk Debbie Gillette, Swanson is challenging incomplete notary information, inconsistent heading information and some of the signatures on the petition. 

Walsh said he collected the necessary signatures going door-to-door in his neighborhood, and believes his paperwork was filed correctly. 

“I understand that my petition to run for an open position on the 308 School Board this spring was the only petition challenged,” Walsh said in a statement. “I fully respect the democratic process, and hope that the voters have an opportunity to decide whom they would like to serve the District in this volunteer position.”

Jeremy Swanson said he did not specifically target Walsh’s petitions. He said he studied the accuracy of the papers for all candidates who filed.

“Petition challenges are not a new thing.  It is the public's first step in choosing the best candidates to place in the proposed office. … I challenged Mr. Walsh's petitions due to a considerable amount of missing information and  signatures not found in the voter records,” Swanson said in an emailed statement. “What personally worried me with his petitions is if he didn't take the time to double and triple check the importance of this paper work, as all other candidates obviously did."

Further, Swanson said he wasn't acting as Alison Swanson's husband, but rather a District 308 resident and taxpayer.

"This isn't about Alison," he said.

For her part, Alison Swanson said she didn’t necessarily agree with her husband’s actions.

“Sometimes husbands and wives take different approaches. In this case, my husband, Jeremy, chose a different way of handling this situation than I would have,” she said.”… I am looking forward to a spirited campaign about how we improve student achievement while we protect the taxpayers of the Oswego School District.” 

These latest Oswego petition objections come as a village Electoral Board voted Monday to allow all nine candidates who filed for village trustee and president races to remain on the ballot.  Like the village’s Electoral Board, the county panel will be made up of three members: Gillette, State’s Attorney Eric Weis and Circuit Clerk Rebecca Morganegg.

Friday’s hearing will take place in room 113 at the Courthouse.

Education, News oswego school district 308

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