Kegarise likely staying on 56th District GOP ballot
All signs late Thursday pointed to Republican 56th District state representative candidate Charlotte "Char" Kegarise's overcoming an objection to her nominating petitions, allowing her to remain on the March primary ballot to face fellow Republican Jillian Rose Bernas.
Bernas said the Illinois State Board of Election's hearing officer in the case has recommended a denial of her objection and she has no plans to appeal.
Both Schaumburg residents plan to face off in a March 20 primary for the opportunity to represent the GOP and challenge Democratic incumbent Michelle Mussman, also of Schaumburg, in the November general election.
Bernas said her campaign's legal advisers had brought to her attention hundreds of printed names on Kegarise's candidacy petitions. Names are supposed to be signed to demonstrate a match with the signatures on people's voter registration, she said.
She said she filed the objection because she believes anyone seeking state office should be capable of following proper procedure -- something she sees a lack of in today's Springfield.
While a minimum 500 signatures was required, Kegarise originally submitted 943. At a check in Springfield, approximately 200 names were dropped, but enough remained for her petition to be valid.
Both Bernas and her legal counsel, Angel Garcia, said they were satisfied with the review.
"We are looking forward to an exciting campaign," Bernas said.
When Kegarise attempted to run for the 56th District Republican nomination a decade ago, she was bounced from the ballot by an objection and fellow GOP candidate Anita Forte-Scott was unchallenged in the primary.
Kegarise said she holds no grudge against Bernas' challenge, as the general election against Mussman is expected to be one of the most expensive state representative campaigns this year. An unchallenged primary is a way to conserve resources, she said.
"I can't fault someone for that," Kegarise said.
Bernas is a Schaumburg Township District Library trustee and Kegarise is a Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 school board member.
The 56th District includes Schaumburg and parts of Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Roselle.