Even though he believes that he had enough valid signatures to run as an independent candidate, Greenville attorney Dan Goggin has withdrawn his plans to run for states attorney in Fayette County this November.
Goggin pulled out of the race early Monday morning, several hours before a Fayette County electoral board was to act on an objection to Goggins nominating papers as an independent candidate.
The objection was filed by the current states attorney, Democrat Stephen Friedel. Friedel alleged that of the 511 signatures included in Goggins nominating papers, 192 were invalid.
If those signatures were ruled invalid by the electoral board, Goggin would have 319 signatures, 81 less than the number (400) required by state statute.
Friedel alleged that 192 signatures could not be considered valid because those individuals either are not registered voters, did not provide their complete address, do not live within Fayette County, had their names signed by someone else, signed their name more than once or signed petitions circulated by someone who he claims cannot legally circulate petitions for an independent candidate.
He also alleged that in some cases, the person allegedly circulating petitions was not present when the sheets were signed.
On the claim that some petitions were handled by improper circulators, Friedel claims that those individuals may not legally work for an independent candidate because they circulated nominating petitions for Republican candidates for this years primary.
Mondays hearing would have been the second time the countys electoral board convened for matters related to the states attorneys race. That board was made up of County Clerk and Recorder Terri Braun, Circuit Clerk Marsha Wodtka and County Treasurer Rose Hoover.
In April, that board ruled in Friedels favor when he maintained that Goggin could not legally run as a Republican candidate in November.
Friedel challenged the filing date on Goggins nominating papers, while Goggin and Fayette County Republican Central Committee Chairman Randy Pollard stated that they simply put the wrong date on the papers.
Goggin said on Monday that while there may have been problems with some of the signatures, he felt that he had enough signatures to be certified as an independent candidate.
He said that he made the decision to drop out of the race that morning, after he spent much of the holiday weekend preparing for (the) hearing.
Goggin said he withdrew to protect individuals who helped him gather signatures for his nominating petitions.
Mr. Friedel has made threats to criminally prosecute many of the witnesses he has subpoenaed to testify (at the electoral board hearing), Goggin said on Monday.
These are good people who are guilty of nothing but trying to make an honest effort to give the people of Fayette County the chance to change the direction of the (existing) system of justice they now face, Goggin alleged.
But, as an attorney, I have to put aside my compassion for seeking office in the light of the fact these individuals do not have legal representation, Goggin said.
Goggin first made these allegations in a two-count complaint he sent to Friedel on June 29, a day before Friedel filed his objection to Goggins nomination petitions.
In response to the allegations, and his decision to pull out of the race, Friedel said. I am pleased by Mr. Goggins decision to withdraw his candidacy and not require me to go through the effort to prove the pattern of fraud that exisited in preparing his nomination petition.
Friedel alleged that Goggins paperwork was filled with multiple acts of unqualified circulators circulating petitions, and the petitions were falsely sworn to under oath as having been circulated by other individuals.
Friedel claimed that the false verification of affidavits was reason enough for the electoral board to remove Goggin’s name from the November ballot, adding that he believes that some of people working for Goggin committed the crime of perjury.
The states attorney said in a press release issued Monday afternoon that Goggin repeated the allegations upon withdrawing on Monday, even though he (Friedel) had informed the Greenville attorney on July 3 that he had turned over all prosecution authority concerning any potential criminal behavior associated with his petition to the Illinois Attorney General.