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DuPage candidate kicked off ballot
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff

Dan Cronin


Debra Olson


John Zaruba


Mike Quiroz


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Published: 11/20/2009 8:36 AM | Updated: 11/20/2009 3:11 PM

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Only one of the six DuPage County candidates who had their nominating paperwork challenged was kicked off the ballot after hearings before the county's electoral board Friday.

Republican District 2 county board candidate Mary Wuttke Kranz was removed from the ballot after the three-member board found nearly 30 of the 106 signatures listed in her nominating papers were invalid. She needed 99 valid signatures to stay on the ballot.

"I'll be back in 2012," she said. "I'll just have more signatures and get my magnifying glass out."

Wuttke Kranz's absence from the ballot means incumbent Republican District 2 board member Jeff Redick won't have a primary opponent.

Meanwhile, the five other objections the electoral board heard Friday were unanimously overruled, and those candidates will remain on the ballot. Dan Cronin and Debra Olson, two of the four Republican county board chairman candidates, successfully defended the challenges. Both GOP sheriff candidates, incumbent John Zaruba and challenger Mike Quiroz, will stay on the Feb. 2 ballot. And Democratic District 2 forest preserve commission candidate Hilary Denk also survived the petition objection.

The longer hearings Friday morning belonged to the objections in the sheriff's race. Quiroz supporters objected to Zaruba's petition, claiming the sheriff misnumbered his paperwork and failed to declare himself a "qualified Republican primary voter." But board members sided with Zaruba because the misnumbering did not hinder anyone's ability to search the document and there were enough references to the Republican Party within the documents to clearly indicate which party's nomination he was seeking.

Zaruba supporters challenged Quiroz's GOP credentials. They cited nearly 700 signatures belonging to residents who voted Democrat in the 2008 primary, which the board ruled did not render them invalid. Zaruba's camp also challenged a number of other signatures as well. In the end, even with all the suspect signatures added up, Quiroz still had more than the necessary 1,585 signatures needed to remain on the ballot.

Quiroz said he is not "a Democrat in Republican's clothing."

"Absolutely not," he said. "My candidacy is representative of everybody in the county and that's going to be the main frame of our success."

When asked to speculate why so many Democratic voters had signed his petition, the challenger quipped that maybe it was all the Republicans that county GOP Chairman Cronin said pulled Democratic ballots in the 2008 primary to help Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama. The 2008 primary was the first time in county history that Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans.

Election commission attorney Pat Bond and commission Chairman Rick Carney were absent from most of the morning's hearings because of possible conflicts of interest. Bond has done work for Zaruba in the past, and either contributed to the campaigns of the other candidates or their opponents. Carney, the county's former recorder, also has been a supporter of the candidates or their opponents.

Attorney Burt Odelson stepped in for Bond during four of the hearings, and Wood Dale Mayor Ken Johnson was appointed by Chief DuPage Judge Stephen Culliton to replace Carney on the electoral board for all six objections.