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Hardiman Campaign Suffers Blow in Mixed Residency Ruling

Hearing officer rules running mate should be barred rom ballot

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Hardiman Campaign Suffers Blow in Mixed Residency Ruling

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For a long-shot campaign for governor like the one Tio Hardiman is waging in the upcoming March Democratic primary, everything has to go right to even have a chance.

On Tuesday, Hardiman’s chances took another blow:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tio Hardiman should be allowed to remain on the March 18 primary ballot but his running mate should be barred from having her name appear alongside his, a state hearing officer has determined.

That good news/bad news recommendation disclosed Tuesday by the State Board of Elections now awaits a ruling by the eight-member state election board perhaps as early as Thursday in a decision that could ultimately wind up in the courts.

Hardiman is the former CeaseFire director who is seeking to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn for the Democratic nomination for governor. His running mate, attorney Brunell Donald, submitted nominating petitions containing a wrong address, casting doubt on whether she met state legal requirements as a registered voter.

Before a final determination is made additional rulings by the eight member state elections board and the board’s chief legal counsel are required, which could come later this week.

Illinois law requires candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a team, meaning that if Brunell is disqualified, Hardiman’s chances to stay on the ballot are in doubt.

More importantly, every day that passes where the Hardiman campaign remains in limbo—or if he is allowed to remain on the ballot without Brunell—mean more questions and confusion for his long-shot campaign.

Hardiman and Quinn traded challenges over each other’s petition signatures in December. That month, however, Hardiman won a victory of sorts when he was placed first on the primary ballot above Quinn.

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