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HRO drops objection to Severson's campaign

Published: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

The objection against the petitions of Ron Severson to run in the primary election for state representative for the 75th District is going to be dropped, as requested by state Rep. John Anthony.

A Morris resident and the current chairman of the Grundy County Board, Severson filed his petition Nov. 27 in Springfield to run in the GOP primary for state representative of the 75th District.

He is challenging Anthony, of Plainfield, who was appointed to the seat in August to replace Republican Pam Roth after she resigned to move to Texas with her family.

The objection to Severson’s campaign was filed Dec. 9 by Keith Becker of Millington and Charles Walton of Plano, according to the Illinois Board of Election’s website.

The website does not list their political affiliations, but Becker, whose listed number is disconnected, circulated nomination petitions for Anthony.

Anthony said he was not behind the objection and never asked for the petitions to be challenged. He said it was the House Republican Organization’s move.

“I believe that healthy competition is good for our elections and people should be able to run for public office if they so choose,” Anthony said in a news release. “I have asked HRO to drop their challenge to my opponent’s petitions and they agreed to do so.

“I am very honored to serve as state representative and I am grateful for the enormous level of support I have received thus far,” he continued. “I will continue to work hard on behalf of the citizens of the 75th District bringing common sense back to Springfield.”

Joe Woodward, political director for the HRO, said the objection was not “frivolous” and was “a reasonable objection.”

“But it’s Representative Anthony’s wish that we withdraw it, so we will do so,” he said.

When Severson received the news Friday from the Morris Daily Herald, he said he was glad to hear it, but noted he was fully prepared to challenge the objections made against his petitions.

Severson said he had documentation proving all the objections wrong.

“I appreciate that we can get back to talking about the issues,” he said.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, the HRO still had not officially dropped its objections, but it was in the process, Woodward said.

It is the HRO’s job to protect its members, Woodward said, and therefore it checks numerous petitions for errors.

“Representative Anthony is a valued member of our caucus and we would do anything to support him,” Woodward said. “Unfortunately, when dealing with primaries there is so much at stake with the general election and that is where our focus is.”

Severson had his first hearing on the objections earlier this week and was due back in Springfield on Monday. This was before it was announced the objections would be dropped.

The objectors’ petition claims some of Severson’s signatures are of people who do not live in the 75th District, are not registered to the address the signers used or the signer is not the proper person. Severson said the claims also stated a notary used was not validated.

He said he had prepared 69 affidavits from the county clerks where the signatures were being challenged stating they were registered voters, and he had documentation proving the challenged notary was verified. Severson said he also had case law to present that argued their other objections.

“I appreciate them [dropping it], but I want people to understand there was nothing I did wrong,” Severson said.

Anthony declined to comment further on the subject.

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