Rock Island attorney Eric Reyes' candidacy as an independent for Congress has been challenged.
Mr. Reyes failed to collect the 5,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot in November for the 17th District election by the June 25 deadline, but he submitted his petitions to the Illinois State Board of Elections anyway.
He argued that the 5,000-signature threshold was unfair when the Republican and Democrat candidates only needed 600 signatures and he had gathered more than that number.
On Monday, Andrew Douglas, of Milan, and Amy Posateri, of Rock Island, filed a formal objection to Mr. Reyes' candidacy, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Mr. Reyes described the two as "supporters of (Democrat candidate) Cheri Bustos" and he said he would continue his attempt to get on the ballot in November.
The state board of elections will meet next Monday for a first hearing on the objections. A date for hearing in Mr. Reyes' case could be set then.
Mr. Reyes has argued that the barriers against independent candidates running for Congress in Illinois run contrary to the state's constitution, which calls for all elections to be "free and equal." He initially had entered the 17th District election as a Democrat but dropped out before the primary election.
"As I've said all along, I have every intention of fighting this battle, on behalf of the voters, through the court system," Mr. Reyes said.
"These objectors have chosen to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and to waste thousands of dollars of taxpayer money attempting to eliminate a choice the voters deserve to have."
The fact that he voted as a Democrat in the primary also could hurt his chances of running as an independent. A new state law prohibits anyone who voted in a primary election running as an independent in the following general election.
Mr. Reyes had asked both local Democrats and Republicans not to object to his candidacy.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, promised not to do so, but Ms. Bustos, of East Moline, declined.
The only request to the state board of elections to review or copy Mr. Reyes' petitions was made by the Illinois AFL-CIO's political director Bill Looby.
The AFL-CIO has endorsed Ms. Bustos in the 17th District election. Mr. Looby said last week that the AFL-CIO would do what it could to help the candidates the organization was supporting.
Today is Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The Rt. Rev. Harry I. Witherspoon, D.D. Bishop of Illinois, willpreach in Trinity (Episcopal) Church, in this city this evening. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Mississippi River flooded itsbanks at Rock Island, destroying the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber companyand damaging the Lumber Company and arsenal power plant. Total loss isestimated at $100.000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of South Rock Island township are circulating a petitionfavoring the annexation of that area to the city of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Thomas Ackles, of Rock Island, has been elected president ofthe Playcrafters for the next season. She succeeds Warren Leonard. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Some 8,000 people filed through the gates of Rock Island Arsenal on Saturday to view a display of a part of the nation's armed strength. The occasion was theannual observance of Armed Forces Day. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Willis Kuschmann, of Moline, who already has won his laurels as oneof the most artistic men in the Quad-Cities area, has a new hobby. He is deeply involvedin miniature railroading. At the age of 88, when many other seniors are dozing in theirchairs or sitting before the television, Mr. Kuschmann is planning and working on hiscollection.