Electoral board allows Calabrese to run for House

By Katie O'Connell

The Champaign County Officers Electoral Board denied an objection against the Republican House candidate for the 103rd district Friday, allowing Frank Calabrese to be on the ballot this November.

Champaign firefighter Pat Devaney filed an objection to Calabrese’s candidacy, claiming he was ineligible to run since the Republican Party never officially filed a certificate of organization for his campaign.

Calabrese’s counsel had already denied this, saying that the certificate had been filed and was in the mail.

Devaney’s council continued to argue that the certificate was not filed in an immediate manner, taking away citizens’ rights to question such documentation. However, the board ultimately decided that the actions carried out were done in a way that substantially complied with the law.

“I think that we definitely have substantial compliance, not strict compliance,” said board member Mark Sheldon during the hearing. “And that’s what’s necessary.”

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Michael Kasper, one of Devaney’s attorneys, said that they have 10 days to appeal the ruling, but he is unsure whether his client will do so.

“The board ruled that there is no consequence in failure to comply with election code, and we disagree with that,” said Kasper.

For Calabrese, the victory marked the first time he feels he can campaign without having any political strings attached.

“I’m really satisfied with the outcome,” Calabrese said. “I was expecting this (the decision) to be in my favor because I followed the rules. Now I can take my candidacy to the people.”

Calabrese will face Democratic incumbent Naomi Jakobssen in the general election.