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Signature objection 
stalls 90th House District race

Republicans file protest in redrawn 90th House District campaign

Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – A decision on whether Thomas Boken Jr. of DeKalb will appear on the November ballot will be made by the end of the week, a campaign organizer said.

Boken intends to challenge Tom Demmer of Dixon for state Rep. Jerry Mitchell’s seat, but about 180 of the signatures he needs to appear on the ballot are being challenged, campaign organizer Mike Ortiz said.

“We’re kind of at a standstill,” he said. “We were going to get a website. We were going to get a lot of things going.”

After Mitchell, R-Sterling, announced he would not be seeking re-election, four Republicans threw their hats into the ring.

Demmer won the March Republican primary and looked ready to take the November election unchallenged, but because there was no Democrat on the ballot, county Democratic parties were able to appoint Boken as their candidate.

He needs between 500 and 1,500 signatures to make the ballot. He has about 700, including the 180 that are being challenged, Ortiz said.

The objection was filed by Greg Witzleb, president of the Lee County Republican Party and a County Board member.

The problem, Ortiz said, is that some signers wrote initials instead of spelling out the county or city in which they live.

“The signatures I think are perfect,” he said. “I think they’re all genuine. It’s just some people initialed their counties or their cities.”

Ortiz said it would be unfortunate if voters didn’t get a choice for their new state representative because of this challenge.

The redrawn 90th House District includes parts of Lee, Ogle, DeKalb and LaSalle counties.

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