Five metro-east candidates will have to defend their spots on the 2018 ballot.
Details of objections filed in legislative and judicial races have been released by the State Board of Elections.
Under objections filed with the State Board of Elections, Katherine Ruocco objected to B. Marshall Hilmes appearing on the ballot. Ruocco and Hilmes, both Republicans, are running for 20th circuit judge.
The main argument in Ruocco’s objection is that in the past Hilmes registered to vote as “Brandon Marshall Hilmes,” and it would be confusing to the electorate.
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Hilmes said in response to the objection he has never changed his name, and that he is following statute that allows for initials and a person’s surname to be used. He said other people have gone with first initials when running for office.
Sparks-Franklin said Koen and Bequette had enough invalid signatures that would bring them below the 816-signature threshold and keep them off the ballot.
Stephen Sampson, of Centreville, objected to Tanya Hildenbrand being on the ballot in the 57th State Senate District. He said Hildenbrand had enough invalid signatures to bring her below the required 1,000-signature threshold for that race.
Hildenbrand said she is fighting the objection and that she had a little less than 1,800 signatures, which would help create a buffer.
“It’s going through the process,” Hildenbrand said. “I will do everything to win my objection and to be on the ballot as a candidate.”
In the 56th State Senate District, Charles Yancey, of Bethalto, is objecting to the candidacy of Republican Hal Patton. Yancey said in his objection form that Patton signed the election petitions of Democratic state Rep. Katie Stuart, which would not be allowed.
Andy Theising, a political science associate professor and department chairman at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, said these objections are long shots, but can have benefits if successful. The challenges could identify some corruption and force a new election, or could disqualify someone from the ballot, making an election easier.
“It’s a long-shot that such challenges could lead to the desired outcome for the objector, but in the rare occasion when it works, it can work well,” Theising said.