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McLean County panel hears ballot challenges involving County Board candidates

Catherine Metsker
Emily Bollinger
/
WGLT
McLean County Board member Catherine Metsker is one of five Republican candidates whose nominating petitions were challenged for the June 28 primary.

A McLean County government panel has delayed a ruling on several ballot challenges for county board candidates until at least Friday.

The County Officers Electoral Board heard two hours of testimony Monday at the Law and Justice Center in Bloomington.

Five Republican county board candidates, including chair John McIntyre (District 5, north-central and east Normal) and incumbent Catherine Metsker (District 1, northern McLean County), face challenges for not numbering pages to the nominating petitions they submitted to get on the ballot for the June primary.

Connie Beard speaking
Emily Bollinger
/
WGLT
McLean County GOP chair Connie Beard addressed the County Officers Electoral Board on Monday.

County Clerk Kathy Michael, who serves on the electoral board with circuit clerk Don Everhart and McLean County assistant state’s attorney Mary Koll, said one of the candidates facing a challenge, Annette Fellows, was unable to attend Monday’s hearing, so the panel decided to wait until her case can be heard before ruling on each case.

Fellows is seeking election in District 9 (south Bloomington). The two other candidates who face ballot challenges are Hannah Blumenshine, who also is running in District 5, and Vicki Schultz, a candidate for a seat in District 8 (west Bloomington).

McLean County Republican Party chair Connie Beard has called the petition challenges a waste of taxpayer dollars and said the GOP decided against challenging Democratic candidates who made the same mistake. “The Democrats who took this hypocritical path knew these same candidates could be slated following the June primary. Yet, they still took the low road to make a headline,” Beard said.

The McLean County Democratic Party responded with a statement that those who seek elected office must be held accountable.

“If these candidates, and incumbent elected officials, cannot follow simple, but mandatory, rules and ensure that every detail of their petitions are legal and valid, how can we be sure that they will be able to do so once elected into office?” the Democrats said in a Facebook post.

Michael said the hearing will likely resume on Friday.

Thirty-five candidates have filed for McLean County Board races for the June 28 primary. All 20 seats will be on the ballot.

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Corrected: March 29, 2022 at 12:19 PM CDT
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Mary Koll's last name.
Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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