Does Gov. Pat Quinn have a challenger in the Democratic primary? It depends on whom you ask. Tio Hardiman, the former head of the anti-violence group CeaseFire, claims he has enough valid signatures on his petitions to be able to run against Quinn in the March primary. “Yes, we are definitely on the ballot,” Hardiman said Friday. “We had 6,200 good names to make the ballot confirmed by the Illinois State Board of Elections, and we won the special lottery to be No. 1 on the ballot.”
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The state election board says that’s not the case, as the hearing officer is still reviewing Hardiman’s petitions to make sure he has 5,000 valid signatures. Hardiman’s petitions face objections for including duplicate names, incomplete addresses, and covering up fraud by crediting phony petition circulators. “So they’re coming up with everything in the book to try to get us, to kick us off the ballot, but it’s not going to work because God has already given us the victory,” Hardiman said. The outcome of the matter has not yet been determined by the state Board of Elections.
Hardiman had challenged Quinn’s petitions, but a hearing officer suspended the review after it became clear Quinn would meet the 5,000 signature requirement. The ballot for the March 18 primary must be certified by Jan. 9, but a final determination on the pending objection to Hardiman’s place on the ballot could come sooner.