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State board of elections says Democrats have time if Montgomery withdraws

September 21,2018 10:15

State representative candidate Valerie Montgomery remained quiet Thursday following a Wednesday court ruling that put her candidacy for the 41st House District in limbo for the Nov. 6 election. Montgomery has not spoken publicly about whether she ...and more »


State representative candidate Valerie Montgomery remained quiet Thursday following a Wednesday court ruling that put her candidacy for the 41st House District in limbo for the Nov. 6 election.
Montgomery has not spoken publicly about whether she intends to stay in the race since Judge Bonnie Wheaton ordered the DuPage County Election Commission to correct a "coding error" that incorrectly placed Montgomery's Naperville home in the 41st House District.
According to Wheaton's ruling, Montgomery actually lives in the state's 49th House District, which includes parts of Naperville, Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and Wayne.
Montgomery ran unopposed in the April primary election as the lone Democratic candidate in the 41st District. And her name will remain on the ballot until she decides otherwise, according to the state board of elections.
"There is no decision for us to make here at the State Board of Elections on this. If she voluntarily withdraws from the race, the Democratic managing committee for the 41st will have eight days to name a replacement for her on the ballot. This can happen up to 15 days before the election," spokesman Matt Dietrich said Thursday. "Our only involvement here would be to receive her withdrawal and then to amend our certification of the ballot to include the replacement's name."
If Montgomery doesn't withdraw, she stays on the ballot. If she wins, election lawyers have differing opinions as to what would happen.
DuPage Election Commission attorney Pat Bond said Montgomery would be unable to vote for herself and would be unable to serve even if she wins because her residency makes her ineligible to hold the office. State election law requires candidates to live in their district for two years before running for elected office, he said.
But DuPage Democratic officials have said they are consulting with attorneys to see if Montgomery still would be entitled to represent the 41st District because she filed her petitions in good faith based on erroneous information from the county Election Commission.
State Democratic Party officials did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. DuPage County Democratic Party Chairman Robert Pieckert said he has texted Montgomery but has not heard back from her as he awaits a decision from the state party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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