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Judicial candidates booted from ballot will run as write-ins

Two candidates running for judge in the new 3rd Circuit judicial Sub-circuit have filed declaration of intent to run as write-in candidates for the Illinois Democratic primary election to be held June 28.

Barry Julian and Ebony Huddleston, will run as write-in candidates in the First Sub-circuit recently created by the Illinois state legislature.  A third candidate for one of the First Sub-circuit openings, Associate Judge Ryan Jumper, will also appear on the Democratic primary ballot to fill one of three vacancies up for election in the First Sub-circuit.

Julian and Huddleston, Democratic candidates for judge, were removed from the ballot after the Madison County Electoral Board, consisting of three Republicans, ruled the candidates were ineligible to appear due to alleged discrepancies in the dates of the filing petitions, effectively invalidating more than 1,400 signatures when only 334 signatures are required.  Because she circulated petitions, the lone Democrat originally on the board, Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza, recused herself from the Electoral Board vote. The Republicans were Madison County States Attorney Tom Haine, Circuit Clerk Tom McRae and Treasurer Chris Slusser (replaced recused County Clerk Ming-Mendoza).

The candidates were removed from the ballot after objections to the petitions by Republican County Board member John Foster on a technicality.  He contended that the date for signature collection in the heading did not match the date the signatures were collected.  The candidates filed an affidavit that the signatures on the petitions were, in fact, filed properly in accordance with the legislation.

“This is a clear miscarriage of justice.  All of our petitions were circulated in the proper timeframe.  It is only because of a rigged process that we will be running as write-in candidates.  Confusion over the dates was caused by Haine’s frivolous lawsuit opposing the legislation, and his refusal to recuse himself from the board’s vote, despite having taken a strong position against the sub circuits. He then sat on the very board that tossed the candidates off the ballot, despite that blatant conflict of interest,” said candidate Barry Julian.

He characterized the effort by the Republicans as an attempt to subvert the will of the voters.  “These sub-circuits were created by the state legislature to increase representation in the circuit and give all voters in the county a voice in selecting judges regardless of geography.  “We believe the voters deserve a clear choice in this election.  And yet, this small group of Republicans have refused to give people here a choice,” Julian said. He added that the dispute is a partisan power grab by the Republicans

“Voters do not like being disregarded and ignored by a small totally partisan group of politicians who wield power for political gain, rather than for the good of all voters,” Huddleston said.

“Access to the ballot should not be taken lightly. The voters should have the right to determine who they want on the ballot. By filing my intent to run as a write-in candidate, I’m ensuring that the voters have an opportunity to have their voices heard,” Huddleston added.

Julian compared the actions of the “Republican-controlled county” to the days when a political machine held a tight grip on all decisions made in Madison County.  Republicans have opposed the broader representation of people in the judiciary in Madison County.

“They hold a majority on the county board, in countywide offices, and hold the county executive office.  They think they know better than the voters, and can run roughshod over decisions, opposition and laws they don’t like.  We need to bring some integrity back to Madison County.” Julian added.

Various  counties throughout Illinois, including St. Clair, Cook and Sangamon have judicial sub-circuits as part of their judicial circuits.

Ryan Jumper is running for the judicial seat to be vacated by the retiring Chief Judge William A. Mudge.  Ebony Huddleston is running to fill the seat created by retired Judge Tognarelli. Barry Julian is running to fill the seat created by retiring Judge David Dugan.

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