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Cunningham must wait for decision on appeal

Jack Cunningham’s bid to get back on the ballot for the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District is on hold until next week.

Cunningham, the Kane County clerk, had filed for a judicial review of the State Board of Elections’ decision to remove him from the ballot. But a hearing scheduled for Thursday in Chicago, in front of Judge Susan Fox Gillis, was continued.

Cunningham and his attorney, James Nally, said Gillis did not receive the record soon enough and needed a chance to review the case. The hearing is now set for 2 p.m. Tuesday. Early voting begins less than a week later, on Feb. 27.

“Obviously, we want to see a resolution as quickly as possible,” Nally said.

Cunningham, of Aurora, was knocked off the ballot earlier this month, after the Board of Elections upheld objections to the nominating petitions of Cunningham and another potential GOP candidate in the race, Diane Harris. That decision left U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert alone on the Republican ballot.

After the State Board of Election’s decision, Cunningham appeared ready to halt the campaign, saying, “if you can’t do it right, you don’t belong on the ballot.” But last week, he chose to appeal.

Cunningham is appealing a decision in which two numbers of an address of someone circulating petitions were incorrect. The appeal said that making such a mistake, made by Charles Leslie, should not invalidate all of the 31 petition sheets collected by Leslie.

“He had the right state, the right city and the right street,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said he was already at a disadvantage because military ballots have been sent out without his name. He said he feels confident that his campaign still could mount a challenge, if he is allowed back on the ballot. He said such challenges are “part of the game.”

“It does keep the candidate from campaigning,” he said.

Biggert campaign spokesman Brian Colgan said the Biggert campaign was “aware that Mr. Cunningham has appealed the State Board of Election’s ruling.”

“Judy has been meeting with area residents and their message is clear – they just want to get back to work and they want a brighter future for their kids – not more taxes, debt and big government spending,” Colgan said. “That is why they rejected Bill Foster and Nancy Pelosi in 2010, and that’s why they’ll do so again this November.” 

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