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Congressional candidate says petition challenge will backfire
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff

Stan Jagla

 

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Published: 11/17/2007 12:36 AM

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It appears the 6th Congressional District will once again see a heated Democratic primary, as long as both candidates stay on the ballot.

That may not happen as a challenge to Stan Jagla's petitions threatens to strip him of the required number of signatures for voters to have a chance to support him.

Jagla is hoping to face Army Reserve Col. Jill Morgenthaler in the Feb. 5 primary.

However, an attorney representing Robert Flynn said as many as 285 of Jagla's 1,003 signatures are invalid because of incomplete addresses, duplicate names or lack of residency within the district.

If election judges in DuPage and Cook counties agree, Jagla would fall short of the 827 signatures he needs to get on the ballot.

Jagla isn't as upset by the challenge as who he believes is behind it.

Flynn, a Lombard resident, is running in a rare, contested primary to become a Democratic precinct committeeman in Milton Township.

But Morgenthaler, Jagla's opponent, lists Flynn as a supporter.

Jagla said that goes against the spirit of open competition he expected.

"I had an agreement with G.I. Jill that we're not going to do stupid things like that," Jagla said.

"I guess they figured they'd better spend $1,000 to get rid of me than $1 million later," Jagla added. "If Flynn is doing the challenge for G.I. Jill, then she just buried herself. Is she stupid or what?"

Morgenthaler's spokesman Charles Blumenthal said Flynn is a supporter but wasn't pushed to file the objection.

"We haven't worked with him at all, not even for this," Blumenthal said. "We do agree that a citizen has every right to challenge a petition."

Blumenthal said there was never an agreement with Jagla to refrain from petition challenges in the race.

"Let's be clear, Jill has never spoken to Stan Jagla one day in her life," Blumenthal said.

That will change if Jagla survives the petition challenge.

DuPage Democrats have a candidate forum featuring both Jagla and Morgenthaler slated for Nov. 28 at the Wheaton Park District Community Center.

The initial hearing on Jagla's petitions is Monday morning, but a petition challenge can stretch on for weeks, especially if it ultimately goes to court.