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Campbell, Emmer off county board ballot

Published: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 5:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 1:02 p.m. CDT
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Rob Winner – Clay Campbell (right) hands a document to county clerk and recorder Doug Johnson during an Electoral Board hearing held for an objection of Campbell's candidacy made by Riley Oncken at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Ill., Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.

SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Election Board voted to remove would-be Republican county board candidates Clay Campbell and Laurie Emmer from the March primary ballot on Friday, although Campbell says the fight is not over for him. The board's decision came in response to objections filed against the nominating petitions for the Campbell and Emmer. Campbell, the former DeKalb County state's attorney, has said he would appeal the decision. Campbell said he was amazed the board voted against him with no deliberation. "I expected this decision," Campbell said. "When I go into these things, I will run into opposition simply by virtue of who I am." Riley Oncken, the incumbent District 3 board member who Campbell was challenging, objected to the Campbell's nominating petition. In his objection, Oncken said the address in Campbell's voter registration record, and the address listed on his driver's license, is not in District 3. Attorney John Countryman, representing Oncken, cited state election law, and contended that Campbell was a registered voter in District 8 on the day he filed his nominating petition for a seat in District 3. "He signed a statement of candidacy swearing he's a qualified elector at an address other than the one on Berkshire Drive," Countryman said. "He was not a legal voter at the address where he swore, under oath, he was a legal voter." Campell provided 14 pieces of evidence showing he lives on Kelly Lane, which is in District 3. "What's relevant is the issue of residency," Campbell said. After about 90 minutes of testimony and questions from the election board, members voted 2-1 to uphold the objection. Voting to uphold the objection and remove Campbell from the ballot were DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson and Luan Olson, representing the office of DeKalb County Circuit Clerk Maureen Josh. Stephanie Klein, chief assistant for the civil division for DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack, voted in Campbell's favor. Campbell said he has five days after the written decision is rendered on Monday to petition the circuit court to reverse the decision. "I already have that petition prepared," Campbell said. "I expected it." In a separate hearing Friday, Emmer conceded she did not have the required 19 valid signatures on her petition. Emmer, who is challenging incumbent Anthony Cvek, R-Sycamore, gathered exactly 19 signatures, however, one of the signers lives outside District 4. All three members of the board voted to uphold the objection filed by District 4 resident Earl Gable. Emmer said she might file to run as a write-in candidate. "This has been a real learning experience for me," Emmer said.

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