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Candidate Petition for New Lenox School District Challenged; Hearing Set for Friday

Election 2013 is heating up. A signature on a petition for an incumbent candidate for the NLSD122 Board has been challenged.

New Lenox School District 122 Board of Education Kathy Miller's petition for nomination was challenged over a signature. A hearing on the validity of Miller's candidacy is set for 3 p.m. Friday at the Haven Administration Center.

Miller was the last of nine candidates to file a nominating petition at 4:29 p.m. Dec. 26, the deadline for filing petitions for the April 9 primary election. The challenge comes from Nikki Sanders of New Lenox.

Miller did not return a Wednesday night call from Patch.

Sanders said in her objection filed on Jan. 3 at the District Office that Miller's nomination papers are "insufficient." Specifically, she challenges the petition circulator's signature. Page 4 of the five-page nomination petition shows reads that the petition circulator is Miller's son, Chris Miller; but the printed signature is that of Kathleen Miller. The document is stamped by an official Illinois notary public.

 In addition, Sanders complains that the "date of the election is missing" from the same page. Based on those errors, she filed a challenge to the validity of Miller's petition.

Friday's special meeting of the Education Officers Electoral Board of NLSD122 is open to the public.

In the last primary election in April 2011, the nomination petition by New Lenox resident Philip Adair, who lost his bid for the school board, was challenged for using the word "trustee" instead of "board" in one instance along with several other errors. The objector in this case, Wendy Williams, who lives in Mokena but within the NLSD122 boundaries, also complained that Adair was a one-issue candidate.

In an April 2011, Williams said, her reason for questioning Adair's candidacy was his position on renaming Liberty Junior High School. Adair had mentioned publically that he wanted Liberty Junior High School to be renamed to . Schaper died in February 2011.

The Education Officers of the Electoral Board at the time decided the errors were not sufficient enough to remove Adair's name from the ballot. And once again, Adair has thrown his hat in the ring for one of five open seats on the NLSD122 Board. All total, nine candidates are running. The candidates are:   

  • Thomas T. Hottinger
  • Deborah M. Kedzior, incumbent
  • Gregory S. Loock
  • Patrick J. Martino, incumbent
  • William Pender
  • Sue Smith, incument
  • Rhonda Starklauf
  • Kathy Miller, incumbent.

Pender was appointed in July 2012 to fill the vacancy left by  

The 40-year-old, vice principal at Joliet Catholic Academy, was selected from a field of eight candidates that offered their services as well. He was sworn in August. Rhonda Starklauf, who is a current candidate for the April primary, was among the group of hopefuls to fill Gillooley's vacancy. Starklauf is a biology teacher at Lincoln-Way Central High School.

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