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Anti-Semite booted from ballot in 10th District race
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/17/2009 3:35 PM | Updated: 12/17/2009 4:35 PM

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An admitted anti-Semite making his latest bid for Congress was removed from the Feb. 2 primary ballot by state election officials on Thursday.

Richard B. Mayers, 38, of Chicago, did not have enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot as a Green Party candidate in the suburban 10th District race, the Illinois State Board of Elections ruled.

The Green Party had opposed Mayers' candidacy, saying his views were not consistent with those of the organization.

"We're happy with the result," Green Party spokesman Patrick Kelly said.

Mayers' candidacy also had been opposed by state Rep. Julie Hamos, one of the Democrats running for the same seat. Hamos is Jewish and her parents are Holocaust survivors.

Hamos is satisfied with the state board's decision, a spokeswoman said.

Mayers could not be reached for comment.

Mayers has run for public office several times, including the 3rd Congressional District seat when he lived in Berwyn in 2007. He was kicked off the ballot then, too.

In 2005, Mayers was arrested and charged with contempt of court after authorities said he made a Nazi salute inside a Lake County courtroom during the arraignment of a man charged in a hate-crime attack.

The charge eventually was dropped, but in an interview this fall Mayers admitted to making the gesture and professed anti-Semitic beliefs.

Earlier this month, Mayers was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after a confrontation at the elections board office in Chicago.

Mayers' removal leaves five Republicans and three Democrats in the running for the 10th District post now held by Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Highland Park. Kirk is leaving the seat to run for U.S. Senate.

The district includes parts of Cook and Lake counties.

In other election action, the state board decided Republican Cynthia Hebda can stay on the ballot in the 59th state House District race. Hebda's petitions were challenged, but the objection wasn't sustained.

Hebda was excited by the ruling.

"It's a good Christmas present," she said.

Hebda, a Vernon Hills trustee, is one of three Republicans seeking the seat now held by Democrat Carol Sente. The others are Dan Sugrue and Mohan Manian.

Sente and Buffalo Grove Village President Elliott Hartstein are the Democratic candidates.