Shoddy petitions force Mulligan off 55th District primary ballot
Updated: February 13, 2012 8:56AM
State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan has withdrawn from the March 20 primary race for the state’s 55th District based on challenges that were filed against her nominating petitions.
But the 10-term Republican legislator says not to count her out just yet.
“I will more than likely run as a write-in candidate,” Mulligan announced this week.
Mulligan opted to have her name removed from the ballot after objections filed by Des Plaines resident Donald Winter were heard by the Electoral Board of the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. Winter alleged that Mulligan’s petitions did not have the minimum number of signatures required for her name to appear on the primary ballot because the petitions contained names of unregistered voters, names of individuals who did not actually live in the district, missing or incomplete addresses, multiple signatures by the same person, signatures that did not appear to belong to the individual whose name was recorded on the petition and petition sheets that were not notarized.
Mulligan acknowledged that volunteers for a House Republican organization helped to circulate her petitions and that mistakes were made.
“I should have had them come back to my office before we had (the nominating petitions) turned in,” she said. “But we didn’t and now we’re paying for it.”
The Electoral Board had not ruled on Mulligan’s case as of early this week, but Mulligan said it was likely a decision to remove her name from the ballot was on its way.
“In talking to my lawyer, we decided I should file something to remove myself, rather than (the Electoral Board) removing me,” she said.
Even before Mulligan withdrew her name, the March 20 Republican and Democratic primaries for the 55th District were uncontested. Democrat Marty Moylan will now be the only candidate whose name will appear on a ballot.
Mulligan said that as Maine Township Republican Committeeman she has the authority to place her name on the ballot as the Republican candidate in the primary, but she has opted instead to run as a write-in candidate.
“I decided I would rather put my name out as a write-in so people could actually write me in,” she said.
Mulligan will need a minimum of 500 write-in votes March 20 in order for her name to appear on the November general-election ballot.
The 55th District, created following last year’s statewide redistricting, includes portions of Park Ridge and Des Plaines. Mulligan previously represented all of Park Ridge.
Mulligan said she has received little support from Maine Township Republicans in this race and none of the currently elected township officials helped to collect signatures.
“Usually we support one another,” she said.
She also believes Moylan, now serving his first term as mayor of Des Plaines, was involved in the challenge to her petitions.
“I’m not like Mr. Moylan. I’ve never head to challenge anybody off (the ballot) in order to win,” Mulligan said.
Moylan said Winter, the objector, is not a campaign supporter and he denied involvement in the petition challenge. Moylan acknowledged that he has seen copies of Mulligan’s petitions and that they lacked the appropriate number of signatures.
“Whatever happens to Rosemary, it doesn’t affect our campaign,” Moylan said, explaining that he will continue to visit homes across the district discussing his platform of fiscal responsibility and job creation.
A call to Winter was not immediately returned.