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Rock Island Co. Electoral Board Deliberates Villareal's Candidacy

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Michelle O'Neill
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WVIK News
Attorneys Christine Takata (L), John Remus, Rock Island Co. State's Attorney Dora Villareal & Nate Nieman (R) before the Electoral Board in the County Clerk's offices, Rock Island, IL

Next week, Rock Island County voters may learn whether current State's Attorney Dora Villareal's name will be on the ballot in March.

At a hearing this morning before the county electoral board, attorneys argued about objections to her statement of candidacy and petition. 

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Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
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WVIK News
Attorney Ron Stradt (L) takes notes as another person listens at a hearing before the Rock Island County Electoral Board.

Four people filed the challenge, and two of them are related to another Democratic candidate, Ron Stradt.

The objectors' attorney, Christine Takata, says state law requires extra information about the qualifications for state's attorney candidates.

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Credit http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=170&ChapterID=3 / State of Illinois, General Assembly
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State of Illinois, General Assembly
Screenshot of applicable part of Illinois election law regarding state's attorney statements of candidacy requirements

"The statute adds a provision in parentheses right after that says, if you are running for state's attorney you shall state that you are licensed attorney, licensed to practice right now in the State of Illinois. The other candidates didn't do that. It's mandatory in the statute." 

Villareal's attorney, John Remus, argued that she's in compliance, similar to the two other democrats running for Rock Island County State's Attorney.

The objectors also say Villareal did not state her proper name as a licensed attorney in Illinois, on her statement of candidacy.

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Credit http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=170&ChapterID=3 / State of Illinois, General Assembly
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State of Illinois, General Assembly
Screenshot of the applicable Illinois election law regarding name changes of candidates

Remus says Villareal didn't have a "changed" name to report.

"Dora didn't change her name. She has used a different name and uses her maiden name.

But she hasn't changed it. So she doesn't need to disclose anything.

And she actually took the extra step of putting her maiden name in quotation marks on the papers that were circulated to clarify that."

The Rock Island County Electoral Board plans to announce its decision at 8:30 am on Tuesday, December 31st.

Besides Villareal and Stradt, the other Democrats running for state's attorney in the March primary are Assistant State's Attorney Calvin Dane and Herb Schultz who's in private practice.

The Republican candidate is local attorney Kathleen Bailey.

See the original complaint filed by Robert Stradt below.

From Stradt Villareal Objec... by Michelle O'Neill on Scribd

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