Friedel objects to new Goggin petition; electoral board meeting Wednesday

The Fayette County Electoral Board is being asked for the second time in about four months to determine whether Greenville attorney Dan Goggin can run as a Republican candidate for states attorney in November.

The board was scheduled to covene on Wednesday, five days after the incumbent states attorney, Democrat Stephen Friedel, filed an objection to nomination documents filed on Aug. 1 by the Fayette County Republican Central Committee on Goggins behalf.

But the board was not scheduled to rule on Friedels objection on Wednesday. Fayette County Clerk Terri Braun said the board planned to discuss the procedures for a hearing on the matter and set a hearing date for Friedels objection.

Goggin is claiming that the central committee had until Sept. 3 to fill a vacancy on the general election ballot, and that the vacancy remained open after he withdrew as a Republican candidate in April.

But Friedel points out that Goggin did not withdraw as a candidate in April, but rather that the county electoral board ruled that month that he could not appear on the ballot as a Republican candidate.

Friedel also contends in his latest objection that the central committee, with its latest filing, fails to fill the ballot vacancy within the stipulated 60 days of the primary election.

A week after the electoral board ruled in favor of Friedel, Goggin filed as an independent candidate.

Friedel also filed an objection to those nomination documents, claiming that problems with signature sheets filed as part of Goggins petition made that petition invalid.

On the day that the electoral board was to rule on Friedels objection, Goggin withdrew as an independent candidate.

On the latest nominating petition filed by the Republican Central Committee, committee Chairman Randy Pollard said the party took steps to get Goggin back on the ballot after checking with Illinois State Board of Election officials.

But Friedel contends that he also has received information from state board officials that supports his objection to Goggins petition.

In filing his latest objection to Goggins latest petition, Friedel said the issue is not whether he has any competition in November; rather, he maintains, its whether Goggin is legally entitled to run in the general election.

I objected before because I believed the election laws werent being followed, and I objected again because I dont think the election laws allow for this latest attempt, Friedel said on Friday.

In filing the latest petition on Goggins behalf, Pollard said the party felt it was important to work to get the Greenville attorney on the ballot, based on what it had heard from the public.

They told me, We want a choice, Pollard said.

Goggin stated earlier that Friedels objections to his nomination petitions were indications that he simply does not want any competition in November.

If Goggin does get on the ballot, Friedel said, the countys voters will look at the records of the two candidates before making a choice on election day.

Regardless of the outcome, Friedel said, I am confident that things will work out well.

I think the people of Fayette County appreciate the hard work and the results of my work as states attorney, he said.

All that has been accomplished by Dan Goggins failures to get on the ballot is to show the voters that he isnt a good choice to be their states attorney, Friedel said.

The electoral board that ruled in Friedels favor was made up of County Clerk and Recorder Terri Braun, County Treasurer Rose Hoover and Circuit Clerk Marsha Wodtka.

By state statute, the states attorney is one of the three board members, except when there is a conflict of interest, as is the case with this matter.

The county treasurer is the first alternate, and the county sheriff is the second alternate.

The current electoral board will have a different makeup than the one that ruled in favor of Friedel in April. Thats because Marsha Wodtka retired at the end of July, and Mary Sue Ruot was appointed to succeed her.

But Braun said on Wednesday that Ruot has filed a request to be recused, and that her request will likely be granted. Braun said that Sheriff Aaron Lay has also been served notice of the hearing, and that he will likely serve as a member of the board.

Braun also said that St. Elmo attorney Richard Day has been retained to provide legal assistance to the board.

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