KANKAKEE — Although early voting began in Kankakee County on Wednesday and ballots are before voters, there is a move to have a Kankakee candidate tossed from the ballot.
The three-person Kankakee Electoral Board will hold a 10 a.m. Friday hearing in Kankakee City Council chambers to determine if Destini Sutherland-Hall, a Republican city clerk candidate, will be allowed to remain on the ballot.
At issue is an objection to the validity of Sutherland-Hall’s nominating petitions filed Tuesday by Kankakee resident Rhonda Love.
Sutherland-Hall is opposing Democratic Party candidate and 2nd Ward Alderwoman Stacy Gall. The two are vying for the clerk’s post being opened by Anjanita Dumas, the 20-year Republican clerk, who did not seek re-election.
The three-member electoral board is comprised of Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong, 7th Ward Alderman Carl Brown and Dumas.
According to the objection filed with the electoral board by Love through her attorney, Steven Laduzinsky of Chicago, Sutherland-Hall failed to file her nomination papers with the city clerk’s office on or before Feb. 28.
Gall said Wednesday she had not seen the objection and she was not involved with it. She acknowledged Love is a friend.
“She’s making sure she’s following the election laws. I’m sure it’s nothing personal. [Love] is just making sure she’s doing things the right way,” Gall said.
The primary election was held Feb. 23 and no Republican candidate was on the ballot for the race. For the April 6 municipal election, Sutherland-Hall was placed on the ballot by the Kankakee Republican Central Committee.
The nominating petition was filed March 10, thereby causing those documents to be invalid, according to Love’s objection.
The objection further states that the Kankakee County Republican Central Committee was not authorized to fill the vacancy for the party in the City of Kankakee.
In addition, as have other objections over the years, the suit also alleges that nominating pages were not properly marked with the candidate’s name. If these pages called into question were not properly completed, the signatures can be lost, meaning the candidate would not have the required number of signatures to be placed on the ballot.
A first-time candidate, Sutherland-Hall said her campaign will continue to move forward.
“This is just a ploy, just a desperate ploy,” she said. “I did everything as instructed. I’m confident this will be thrown out.”
Her attorney, Kankakee attorney Jamie Boyd, said he had yet to receive the objection. Like Sutherland-Hall, he believes the matter is just an attempt to clear the ballot for Gall.
If the electoral board removes Sutherland-Hall from the ballot, the decision can be appealed to the Kankakee County Circuit Court.
Kankakee 2nd Ward Alderwoman Stacy Gall won the Democratic Party primary for the city clerk position