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All challenges in Aurora aldermanic races dropped

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



GENEVA — The candidates weren’t due in court until next week, but on Wednesday morning, all pending challenges to the election paperwork in two Aurora City Council races were dropped.

Because of a state election law that changed in July — unbeknownst to the Aurora Election Commission, the candidates and other objectors — those contesting election petitions in the city’s aldermanic races had only five days to file in court, instead of the 10-day period that previously was allowed.

Because the objectors filed in Kane County Court after the five-day limit, alderman-at-large candidates Judd Lofchie and incumbent Richard Irvin, and 6th Ward candidate Isaac Count De Money Wilson will stay on the April 5 election ballot.

Lofchie said he and local activist Peggy Hicks’ lawyer John Duggan agreed to dismiss their challenges and go ahead with the election.

With the challenges over, “we can focus on the issues,” Lofchie said.

Keith Letsche, the attorney acting on behalf of the Aurora Election Commission, said that while an error may have occurred, it is ultimately the objector’s responsibility to be aware of the new law. Election Commission Director Linda Fechner confirmed it is the objector’s responsibility.

In December, the Election Commission overruled objections filed against the election petitions of Irvin, Lofchie and Wilson, and said their names should stay on the April 5 ballot. The objectors then all filed challenges in Kane County Court to the Election Commission’s ruling.

Hicks had filed the objections to Lofchie’s petitions, and Lofchie challenged Irvin’s. Wilson’s petitions were challenged by 6th Ward incumbent Alderman Mike Saville.

Saville said that the law change made it obvious that the court challenge couldn’t move forward, although he felt he had a strong case.

“We are disappointed because my attorney (also Duggan) felt that petitions of Mr. Wilson were not filled out correctly,” Saville said.

Wilson said he’s ready to move forward and was glad that the challenges were dropped.

“I’m happy that the people of Ward 6 get to decide who the alderman is versus the courts,” Wilson said.

In the alderman at large race, Irvin and Lofchie will square off against business consultant Kevin Mathews and write-in candidate Matt Harrington.



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