A St. Clair County judge has denied an effort by a longtime political figure in East St. Louis to keep her opponent off the ballot.
Edith Moore filed suit seeking a preliminary injunction against Nathaniel McCloud. The two are running as Democrats to be precinct committeeman in the 20th Precinct.
During a hearing Friday, Moore argued that McCloud filed a document with Circuit Clerk Tom Holbrook withdrawing his name from the upcoming Feb. 16 primary election, and that his name should not be on the ballot.
McCloud said, under oath, that he never ever filed a document withdrawing his name as a candidate. And, he said he never authorized anyone to file any such document on his behalf.
Members of the St. Clair County state’s attorney’s office, representing the County Clerk’s office, played a video that showed McCloud’s uncle, James O’Neal, filing a document at the election office Jan. 6. But O’Neal said it was not the original document, but rather a copy, and it was never his nephew’s intent to withdraw from the race.
McCloud admitted he had entertained not running, but he decided otherwise because “residents, namely seniors and people with children, who want something different for the district came to him and asked him to run.”
McCloud told St. Clair County Judge Robert LeChien that he never filed a document to remove his name from the ballot. After an all day hearing, LeChien said, “the preliminary injunction is denied.”
LeChien said it was clear to him through testimony from McCloud and his uncle that the original document, as required by law, was never filed and remained in O’Neal’s possession.
After the hearing, McCloud smiled and said he’s happy that the judge ruled that he can stay on the ballot. “I am new to politics, but I know it is time to make a change from business as usual.”
Moore said she plans to appeal LeChien’s decision.
Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503