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Judge upholds decision to keep Campbell off GOP primary ballot for County Board

SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Judge William Brady on Tuesday upheld the decision to keep former State’s Attorney Clay Campbell off the Republican ballot for DeKalb County Board member from District 3.

In his decision, Brady said Campbell was not a legal voter when he filed his nominating petitions. Campbell declined to comment on whether he would appeal the decision to the Illinois Second District Appellate Court in Elgin.

Campbell, a local defense attorney, appealed the Election Board’s Dec. 13 decision upholding Riley Oncken’s objection to Campbell’s nominating petition for the March primary.

Oncken, a local attorney, is a County Board member seeking election in District 3. He objected to Campbell’s nominating petition because the addresses listed on his voter registration and driver’s license weren’t in District 3 when he filed his nominating petition.

Campbell acknowledged the addresses were not updated when he filed, but argued he lives in District 3 and is legally eligible to run there.

Election Board members DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson and Luan Olson of the DeKalb County Circuit Clerk’s Office, voted to remove Campbell from the ballot. The third member of the board, Stephanie Klein, chief assistant for the DeKalb County state’s attorney’s civil division, voted to keep his name on the ballot.

Military and overseas ballots can be mailed starting Jan. 31, while in-person absentee voting starts Feb. 21, according to the DeKalb County Clerk & Recorder’s Office website.

Oncken said he was pleased with the outcome, and had no indication whether Campbell would appeal the matter further.

“I would hope that two rulings against him would indicate that he didn’t meet the qualifications to be on the ballot,” Oncken said.

State’s Attorney Richard Schmack was in court to represent the Election Board and said the judge’s comments speak for themselves.

“I believe it is the County Board’s intent that County Board members come from the district they represent,” Schmack said.

Johnson said the state will certify the ballot Thursday and the deadline to file to run as a write-in candidate is Jan. 16. He was unsure of a deadline for Campbell to appeal Brady’s decision to the appellate court, and said cases have been decided at that level after elections have concluded.

Schmack said Campbell has 30 days to appeal Brady’s decision.

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