In what reminded me of the wrestling tag team matches I used the watch as a kid, two McHenry Township Electoral Boards voted to remove the GOP caucus-nominated Republican Party candidates for Township Clerk and Trustee from the April 4th election ballot.
Remnants of former McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Al Jourdan’s organization cast deciding votes to keep Republicans out of the election where they would be running against fellow Independent slate members. (Jourdan signed at least one Independent’s petition.)
Jourdan’s allies lost control of both the McHenry County Republican Central Committee and the McHenry Township Central Committee after the 2014 GOP Primary Election.
Meanwhile, many McHenry Township officials elected in 2013 retired and were replaced by people claiming to be Republicans. It is a requirement of state law such appointed replacements be from the same party as the people whose offices they are assuming. All McHenry Township officials elected in 2013, except the Assessor, were Republicans.
The new folks in charge of the McHenry Township GOP decided they wanted to take control of McHenry Township government, as well as the party.
At a Township GOP Central Committee meeting, Township Clerk Marsha Nelson and Township Supervisor Craig Adams incorrectly advised the attending Precinct Committeemen that of the two options for selecting party candidates
- a caucus or
- a primary election
the primary was what would occur unless the GOP Central Committee decided on a caucus.
The Township GOP missed the deadline for notifying the County Clerk that a primary would be held, so a caucus, the only way to select candidates prior to a 1973 law that State Senator Jack Schaffer and I sponsored to allow primaries, was left as the only option or there would be no Republicans on the ballot.
A caucus was held in which the Township GOP preferred candidates were nominated with precinct committeemen being given the number of Republican votes cast in their precincts in last spring’s Primary Election, minus the vote of anyone from their precinct who attended the caucus.
This weighted vote arrangement was decided in a four-hour Central Committee meeting in which appointed Township Supervisor and Precinct Committeeman Craig Adams participated, but opposed the weighted vote arrangement.
After the incumbents figured out the unlikelihood of their being nominated at the caucus, Independent petitions were immediately circulated for all the offices but Assessor, where incumbent Mary Mahady, a Democrat, is the only candidate.
The two members of the Independent team who were elected Republican Precinct Committeemen, Craig Adams and Sue Draffkorn, resigned those positions, but only after they had already begun circulating petitions for their Independent candidacies.
At Friday’s McHenry Township Electoral Board meetings, members of the now-“Independent” slate of current Republican Township Officials cast deciding votes on spearate McHenry Township Electoral Boards to knock Caucus-slated Republican candidates for Township Trustee and Clerk off the ballot.
Although running together, different members of the Indpendent slate were on the two Electoral Boards that disqualified the Republican Party candidates from being on the ballot.
In each case, even though on the same team, the person(s) casting the deciding vote was not on the ballot against the person or people they kicked off the ballot., even though they circulated petitions for them.
That was according to state law, which allows Electoral Board participation if members are not on the ballot running against the person whose candidacy is being judged.
By approving complaints filed by McHenry Township Supervisor Craig Adams, Republican Township Trustee candidates
- Mike Rakestraw
- Bill Cunningham
- Bob Anderson
- Stan Wojewski
were removed from the April 4th Consolidated Election Ballot.
Public member David Stone voted with cuttent Township Clerk Marsha Nelson, who is a member of the slate running as Independents, to deny ballot access to the four Republican Trustee candidates, while public member Steve Haugh dissented.
In addition, GOP Clerk candidate Dan Alyward met the same fate.
Two arguments were made by Adams:
- State law was violated because the Chairman of the Caucus was not a McHenry Township resident.
- The State Constitution was violated because each Caucus participant was not allowed to cast one vote.
These arguments were accepted in a 3-0 vote by the Electoral Board composed of Township Turstees Gary Barla and Neal Shepler, plus attorney David Stone, appointed by Chief Judge Michael Sullivan.
The arguments were the same in the Adams complaint against GOP Clerk candidate Dan Aylward.
In this case, all three Electoral Board members voted against allowing Aylward on the ballot.
Besides attorney Stone, the other two Board members were incumbent Township Trustees Gary Barla and Neal Schepler, both of whom are running for Trustee in April as Independents on the same slate as Marsha Nelson, who is a candidate for Township Clerk.
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