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Judge upholds decision by Macomb Electoral Board

Rich Egger
The hearing took place at the McDonough County Courthouse.

The city’s electoral board in December dismissed challenges to the nominating petitions of three city council candidates. The board ruled the objectors did not fill out their paperwork properly because they omitted a written statement of interest.

Two of the objectors appealed. They are current at-large city council member Tammie Leigh Brown-Edwards and former McDonough County Voice Editor Michelle Langhout.

In appealing, they said the electoral board failed to consider their objections

But Ninth Circuit Court Judge Heidi Benson ruled this week that the board’s decision was “not manifestly erroneous.” She said there could be no evidentiary hearing on objections if they are dismissed.

Langhout “respectfully disagreed” with the judge’s ruling. She said the electoral board acted unfairly.

“To my opinion, it seemed to be slanted in favor of the candidates as opposed to fairly hearing all of the objections,” she said.

Brown-Edwards also said the electoral board did not make “a good faith effort.”

The board consisted of Mayor Mike Inman, City Clerk Melanie Falk (since retired), and the senior city council member, Dennis Moon.

Langhout tried to knock Don Wynn off the ballot. And Brown-Edwards tried to have AJ Bauser removed. Both men are running for the position now held by Brown-Edwards.

In both cases, the women said the men did not fill out their nominating petitions properly.

Bauser said he is ready to put the objections behind him and start campaigning for the office.

I feel very happy that I am still on the ballot. I feel that my paperwork has been nit-picked a little bit and I think it’s been kind of ironic with what has gone on with the objectors’ paperwork,” he said.

“I look forward to doing the best that I can to try to win this election. If I lose, I hope that I lose in April.”

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.