A dozen objections have been filed against candidates running for mayor, trustee and clerk in the April 4, 2017 municipal election. | iStockphoto.com/Igor Smichkov
Thursday, December 29, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 8:02 p.m.
A dozen objections have been filed by just three people in the race for the three open trustee seats, the one open clerk seat and the one open mayoral seat up for grabs in the April 4, 2017 election.
Seven people have filed the required documentation to run for Maywood Mayor and all but two of them, liquor commissioner Mary “May” Larry and former mayor and sitting trustee Henderson Yarbrough, are facing objections.
Earlier this month, Maywood resident Linda Reedy filed an objection to Yarbrough’s candidacy on the grounds that his petition sheets improperly contained the date of the February primary election, rather than the April election. Reedy said that the inclusion of the primary date would be misleading to voters.
But according to Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, who sits on the three-person local electoral board who will decide the merits of most of the objections, Reedy recently withdrew her challenge, freeing Yarbrough and the four trustee and clerk candidates on his Maywood United Party ticket to focus on campaigning, instead of arguing the merits of their candidacies in court.
The five remaining candidates for mayor — Perkins, sitting trustee Antonette Dorris, attorney Luther Spence, community activist Quincy Johnson and resident Kathy Travis — won’t have that luxury.
In addition to those candidates for mayor, several trustee candidates, including independent candidates Rolando Villegas, a Maywood businessman; Elijah Goodwin, who also owns a local business; and Randy Carter, an employee of the Maywood Public Library, were challenged.
Also, the entire Maywood Visionary Party — which is helmed by Dorris, and includes sitting trustee Melvin Lightford, businessman Joseph Wilson and realtor Drena Lanier as trustee candidates, and Steven R. Smiley as the party’s candidate for clerk — was challenged.
All of those objections were filed just two people — Maywood residents Keith Moore and Reginald Lamont Featherston, Sr. — and they range from run-of-the-mill complaints about invalid petition signatures to concerns, such as those regarding places of residence, that could be fatal to some candidates’ chances of getting their names on the ballot next year.
Based on an analysis of both petition and objection filings made available by the Maywood Village Clerk’s office, it appears that Travis may not make the ballot.
Both Moore and Featherston, Sr. filed objections claiming that Travis did not generate the minimum of 124 petition signatures required to run for mayor. Travis submitted fewer than four full pages of petition sheets. Each sheet allows for 15 signatures.
Featherston’s objection to Goodwin’s candidacy for trustee, on the grounds that Goodwin isn’t qualified to run because he would not have been a resident of Maywood for at least a year upon taking office, is also a serious challenge.
Johnson and the Maywood Visionary Party were challenged by Featherston, because they both allegedly circulated nomination papers and a statement of candidacy containing “the title of and an office which does not exist [in Maywood] of ‘Village of Manager,’” instead of the title Village President, among other objections.
Both Moore and Featherston challenged Johnson on the grounds that the latter did “not file a receipt for the filing of a Statement of Economic Interests in relation to his candidacy with the Maywood Village Clerk on or before Dec. 19.”
In objecting to the candidacy of Spence, Moore claims that the attorney purports to be ‘nonpartisan’ on his nomination papers.
“Maywood elections are not ‘nonpartisan’,” Moore’s objection claims, but rather, partisan. Therefore, by filling as ‘nonpartisan,’ Spence “has failed to inform the relevant election authorities whether he is filing as a candidate of an Established Political Party, a New Political Party, or [as] an Independent and therefore they do not know how to list him on the ballot.”
In most of the objection documents filed by Moore and Featherston, dozens of separate challenges are lodged against each candidate in question, with most of those challenges dealing with allegedly invalid signatures and alleged problems with petition sheet circulators.
All 11 remaining objections will be heard on Jan. 3 inside of Council Chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave., by a three-person local electoral board that comprises Mayor Perkins, Maywood Village Clerk Viola Mims and Trustee Melvin Lightford.
Perkins and Lightford, however, will not be allowed to sit on the board during hearings about objections to their own candidacies. In an interview Thursday, Perkins said that she’ll be replaced by a representative from the Cook County Clerk’s office and that another trustee will likely replace Lightford, but she didn’t know which trustee this would be.
School board seats challenged
Eight of the 10 people running for seats on the Bellwood District 88 school board face objections to their candidacies, according to Cook County Clerk records. Marilyn A. Thurman, Dorothy C. Smith, Juliette L Elliott, Maria D. Perez, Deborah L. Giles, April Falco and Lana Means all had their candidacies challenged.
Three people running for Broadview’s Lindop District 92 face objections. They include Victoria L. Arrington, Penny Williams-Wolford and Tanya D. Taylor.
According to the clerk’s office, no candidates running for seats on the District 88 and 209 school boards face objections. VFP
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