Two candidates for the judiciary absent from the primary ballot

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Two Democratic judicial candidates were withdrawn from the June 28 primary ballot after objections to their candidacy were upheld by the Madison County Board of Elections last week.

Alton’s attorney, Ebony R. Huddleston, and retired Associate Justice John Barry Julian erred in their nomination requests. They have the option of presenting themselves in writing or being nominated by their party for the general elections on 8 November.

Julian and sitting Circuit Judge Christopher Threlkeld, a Republican, both filed for the open seat created by the elevation of Circuit Judge David Dugan to a federal judgeship. Huddleston and sitting Circuit Judge Amy E. Sholar, a Republican, filed for the seat vacated by retired Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli.


In the other 3rd Circuit court race, Associate Judge Ryan A. Jumper, a Democrat, and Wood River attorney Tim Berkley, a Republican, will appear to fill the opening created when Chief Circuit Judge William Mudge has announced that he is retiring at the end of the year.

Objections to Julian and Huddleston were filed by Madison County Councilman John “Eric” Foster. Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza said she was surprised the hearings were held locally and not in Springfield.

“It has something to do with it being a sub-district of the circuit court, which is brand new for us,” she said Wednesday. “I thought it was an April Fool’s joke because we got the package on April 1. We called the state and said, ‘Come on, please tell me you’re kidding. ‘”

The hearing took place last week. Because she had been circulating petitions for judicial nominees, Ming-Mendoza recused herself and Madison County Treasurer Chris Slusser took her place on the electoral board.

Ming-Mendoza said the objections “revolved around the circulation date of the petition.” The dates were wrong on the documents, which the electoral commission called a “fatal flaw”. However, a spokesperson for the Illinois State Board of Elections said they could still be on the ballot, whether in the primaries or the general election.

ISBE’s Matt Dietrich said whether a candidate who is dropped from the ballot can still run as a write-in candidate in the primary. If they did not show up in writing, the party could nominate them to run at those places, the only way they could run in the general election.

Ousted judicial candidates and others affected by previous decisions of the electoral board still have time to challenge the board’s decisions in court.

So far, no legal action has been challenged by the Electoral Council. However, a request has been made for the Illinois Attorney General to review past decisions of the electoral board on matters relating to Illinois’ open meeting law. The IAG office requested documents from the county related to the claim.

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