Calabrese facing more questions about candidacy, overall eligibility

By Eric Heisig

A Champaign resident has again made a move to keep the state representative race a one-woman show. Still, he insists there is no smoke and mirrors to what he is doing.

“We are doing what we are entitled to do and I am asserting my rights to do it,” said Pat Devaney, the Champaign County Democrats’ vice chair for labor. “There is no hidden agenda to this.”

According to the Champaign County Clerk, a request for judicial review was filed on June 12 to question the legitimacy of University student Frank Calabrese’s candidacy. In May, the Champaign County Electoral Board ruled that Calabrese’s candidacy was valid after Devaney questioned his eligibility. Chicago attorney Michael J. Kasper filed the request on behalf of Devaney to review the Board’s decision.

Calabrese is running in the 103rd district, against incumbent Rep. Naomi Jakobsson.

Devaney said he just wants this to be done the right way.

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“We are just following the process as it’s laid out,” Devaney said.

Jakobsson said she had not heard about the new inquiry and was not involved with it, but that Kasper and Devaney have a right to do what they are doing.

“It is important to follow the law, and that is all that these people are trying to do,” Jakobsson said.

Devaney said he had not notified Jakobsson about the request.

Meanwhile, Calabrese said he wishes that he could move on with the campaign itself.

“I’m a little bemused that Kasper and the state Democrats are spending so much time with this,” Calabrese said. “I don’t understand why they can’t just do this through the election process.”

Still, he said he is not that worried about the appeal.

“We are on fairly solid ground,” Calabrese said. “People only get thrown off of ballots if the process is messed up, and they are saying we didn’t record it in the right way.”

When asked about a student potentially representing the district that encompasses the University in Springfield, the University’s Public Affairs office said that they do not comment on political issues.

Calabrese has until July 8 to respond to Devaney’s request, and he said he has not done it yet. Kasper and the Champaign County Clerk both said no court date has been set yet.