Campaign 2022: What’s next in Lee County objections?

Election 2024
Jennifer Lawson (right) and attorney Kylee Miller argue the petitions submitted by Koppien for placement on the ballot were not properly bundled.

A periodic update about the 2022 campaign for public office.

Notices about public campaign appearances in the Sauk Valley should be sent to news@saukvalley.com. The news and notes will run periodically during the election season.

Lee County objections

A debate over paper clips will decide whether three Lee County Board incumbents will be able to run for re-election in the June 28 primary.

Dixon resident Jennifer Lawson is objecting to candidate filings for Republican board members Mike Koppien, Chris Norberg and Jim Schielein on the basis that their nomination papers were each bound by paper clip.

The Illinois Election Code calls for petitions to be “neatly fastened together in book form, by placing the sheets in a pile and fastening them together at one edge in a secure and suitable manner, and the sheets shall then be numbered consecutively. The sheets shall not be fastened by pasting them together end to end, so as to form a continuous strip or roll.”

Michael Koppien takes the stand Friday, April 1, 2022 during a challenge to his petition to run for Lee County board.

There’s no mention of paper clips, so the county must provide a forum for the objections to be heard and decide whether paper clips are sufficient in keeping five or six pages of paper together.

The objections triggered a process for the county electoral board to meet — made up of the county clerk, circuit clerk and state’s attorney — and the group hired attorney Tim Zollinger to act as hearing officer.

Three hearings took place Friday, and Zollinger will make recommendations to the electoral board in the next week or so, which will be followed by a 2-week period for either side to make disputes before a final decision.

State Supreme Court

Sitting justice Rita B. Garman is up for a retention vote in the fourth district, which encompasses Lee and Whiteside counties. She was first appointed to the Supreme Court in 2001 and elected in 2002.

There are two partisan elections for the high court:

2nd District: Republicans Susan F. Hutchinson, Mark C. Curran Jr., John Noverini and Daniel B. Shanes and Democrats Elizabeth “Liz” Rockford, Nancy Rodkin Rotering and Rene Cruz are contesting for the Robert Thomas vacancy.

3rd District: Republican Michael J. Burke, presently serving in the second district, will content with Democrat Mary K. O’Brien in the general election for the Thomas Kilbride seat.

15th District judicial circuit

Democrat Karla M. Niemann of Freeport and Republican Peter McClanathan of Freeport are seeking the seat vacated by Michael P. Bald.

Republican Lindsey L. Clayton of Byron has filed for the seat vacated by Robert T. Hanson.

The 15th district is for Lee, Ogle, Carroll, Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties.

14th District judicial circuit

Democrat Norma Kauzlarich of Moline is up for the Mark E. VandeWiele vacancy.

Republicans Lance E. Camp of Atkinson and Colby G. Hathaway of Kewanee are in the running for the Jeffrey W. O’Connor vacancy.

The 14th district is for Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties.


None announced. Send to news@saukvalley.com.