Facing petition challenge, veteran Mundelein trustee withdraws from board race

  • Kerston Russell

    Kerston Russell

  • Ramesh C. Sharma

    Ramesh C. Sharma

Updated 12/30/2022 12:43 PM
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Kerston Russell's decision to drop out of the race rather than fight an objection to his candidate paperwork.

A veteran Mundelein trustee who had been planning to seek a third term in April instead is withdrawing from the race.

Kerston Russell's decision, which he revealed Friday, came just days after a formal objection was filed against his candidate paperwork that could have knocked him off the ballot.


"After (a) long discussion with my wife, daughter and grandsons, I have decided that I will be withdrawing," Russell told the Daily Herald in an email. "This has given me an opportunity to move my life in a new direction which includes more time with my family."

Russell has served on the village board since 2015.

His decision not to run leaves four candidates in the race for three seats.

One of them, Ramesh C. Sharma, will learn as soon as Tuesday if he'll be removed from the ballot because of perceived paperwork irregularities.

The other candidates are incumbents Kara Lambert and Erich Schwenk and former trustee Robin Meier.

The objections against Russell's and Sharma's petitions were filed Tuesday by Terri Voss, a former trustee.

According to Voss' complaints, some signatures on the petitions should be invalidated because several pages were completed incorrectly. In addition, some people signed the petitions despite not living in Mundelein, Voss claimed.

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For those and other reasons, Voss believes neither Russell nor Sharma gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for ballot placement.

On Friday, Sharma called the complaint "baseless."

A three-member committee chaired by Mayor Steve Lentz will review the remaining case.

The hearing is set to begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday at village hall, 300 Plaza Circle.

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